Click here to enlarge this photo
Christopher Anderson⁄the Bowie StarMembers of the Star⁄Gazette All-County First Team Defense include: (front row, from left): Montero Douglas, Terrence Walker, Rakeem Vick, Brandon Thomas, James Proctor; (middle row, from left): Kemar Scarlett, Charles McIntosh, Cameron Chism, Ryan Brady; (back row, from left): Calvin Johnson, Justin Winters, Ian Thomas, Matthew Cheatham, Courtney Prince. Not pictured: Jerrell Wedge.
Matthew Cheatham, Forestville, lineman: Cheatham led the way on defense as Forestville earned a playoff berth. The 6-2, 205-pound senior end had 59 tackles and 24.5 quarterback sacks for the Knights, who lost in the 1A South Region title game. Cheatham also had 25 tackles for losses and 27 quarterback pressures.
Calvin Johnson, DeMatha, lineman: One of eight returning starters, the 6-2, 275-pound nose guard had 64 tackles, four quarterback sacks and three forced fumbles for the nationally-ranked Stags. A first-team All-WCAC selection, Johnson is drawing interest from several Division I programs.
Terrence Walker, Friendly, lineman: Walker proved to be the heart and soul of a Friendly defense that posted four shutouts this season and won the state Class 3A championship. Walker led the Patriots with 131 tackles and was second on the team with eight quarterback sacks. Walker also had three fumble recoveries.
Ryan Brady, Flowers, linebacker: The senior helped an underrated Jaguars’ defense engineer four shutouts this season. Brady led Flowers with 121 total tackles, added 34 tackle assists, had 10 sacks, broke up five passes and had one interception.
Montero Douglas, Crossland, linebacker: Douglas led a stingy Cavaliers’ defense with 98 tackles, 12 sacks and four fumble recoveries. The senior also aided the 7-3 squad as a running back with 177 carries for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns. Currently getting several Division I-AA looks, Douglass scored the first touchdown in the senior all-star game Saturday on a 29-yard run.
Justin Winters, Eleanor Roosevelt, linebacker: The cornerstone of a staunch Raiders’ defense that had seven shutouts en route to an 8-3 record, Winters led the team with 155 tackles and recorded eight sacks.
Jerrell Wedge, Douglass, linebacker: Wedge was the symbol of toughness for the Eagles and earns his third all-county first-team honor. Wedge finished his career as Douglass’ second all-time leading tackler behind current San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman. Wedge finished this season with 106 tackles. Wedge also had a team-high 15 touchdowns in double duty as a tailback and will head to Miami (Ohio) University to continue his career.
Brandon Thomas, Suitland, linebacker: Thomas was the defensive glue for the state 4A champions this fall. The 6-1, 190-pounder had 87 tackles and 10 quarterback sacks for the Rams, who won their second state 4A title in three seasons. Thomas was part of a unit that allowed 25 points in the Rams’ final nine regular season games after allowing 30 to Douglass in the opener.
Rakeem Vick, Friendly, defensive back: Vick displayed the ability to change to the course of a game on defense. He often played with an energy difficult to match. The Patriots’ vocal leader, Vick never hesitated to mix it up with anyone on the opposing offense and played much bigger than his size (5-9, 195) in the team’s Patriot hybrid spot (linebacker⁄safety). Vick finished with 127 tackles (second on the team), seven sacks, a fumble recovery, interception and forced fumble.
Charles McIntosh, Bowie, defensive back: A standout defender who played equally well against the run and the pass for the 7-4 Bulldogs, McIntosh displayed solid tackling and coverage skills. He was among the team leaders in virtually every defensive category. McIntosh had 31 solo tackles, 73 assisted tackles, five tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries, one sack and one interception.
Cameron Chism, McNamara, defensive back: Chism was perhaps the Mustangs’ best all-around athlete. His play on both sides of the ball helped McNamara earn its first playoff berth in four years. A stellar cover defender, Chism garnered All-WCAC first team honors with 92 tackles, 6 interceptions and 13 pass deflections. On offense, Chism was the Mustangs’ leading receiver with 41 receptions for 803 yards and 7 touchdowns.
James Proctor, Suitland, defensive back: Proctor was one of several juniors who had an impact in Suitland’s championship run this fall. The 5-8, 160-pounder had nine interceptions, returning three for touchdowns and posted 59 tackles. In the state final, Proctor intercepted a pass with Sherwood in the Rams’ territory, helping Suitland in its record comeback victory.
Kemar Scarlett, Potomac, punter: Though Potomac failed to defend its 2004 and 2005 state 2A championships, Scarlett was a bright spot. The 6-2, 180-pound senior averaged 36 yards a punt, including a long of 56. A first-team Star⁄Gazette kicker in 2005, Scarlett, who saw time at receiver and free safety this season, is drawing interest from Delaware, Kent State, Marshall and Stony Brook.
Player of the year: Ian Thomas
Before the season, Thomas said his only goal was to help the 2006 DeMatha squad earn its place among the best in the program’s decorated history. Indeed, the Stags claimed their place, and Thomas was the driving force behind a veteran defensive unit. The 6-foot, 215-pound middle linebacker had 126 tackles and six quarterback sacks as the Stags went 12-0 and captured their fourth consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. DeMatha allowed just 78 points this season, 26 in two games against rival Good Counsel, which the Stags defeated for the third straight year in the WCAC title game. Last season, Thomas had 101 tackles and five sacks, earning Star⁄Gazette first-team honors. A two-time All-WCAC first-team selection, Thomas plans to sign with the University of Illinois in early February.
coach of the year: Nick Lynch
When the state playoffs began, Suitland High coach Nick Lynch felt his team wasn’t getting the recognition it deserved for going unbeaten in the County 4A League in the regular season. The District Heights school gained its accolades in a compelling four-week run, capped with the state championship. In the state title game the Rams trailed 21-0 in the first half and by 13 points midway in the final quarter, before stunning Sherwood of Montgomery County, 39-38, in overtime. It was the biggest comeback in the 33-year history of the state public school football finals. With a team that lacked size, Suitland depended on its quickness to win its final 13 games. The Rams’ four postseason victories were by a total of seven points.