Player of the Year: Brian Carroll, Gilman
Carroll led the Greyhounds' defense for the second straight year -- this time to a 9-0 record that continued the program's 17-game unbeaten streak. The Greyhounds earned their second consecutive No. 1 ranking and their seventh Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown in nine seasons under coach Biff Poggi. A 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior, Carroll led the Greyhounds in tackles (121), tackles for lost yardage (20), fumble recoveries (five) and caused fumbles (five). He ranked second on the team in sacks (seven) and pass disruptions (eight), and was third with two interceptions. Assistant coach Stan White said Carroll was "hands down the most valuable player" for a program that defeated two nationally ranked teams and five others rated among Maryland's top 20. Led by Carroll, the Greyhounds outscored their last six opponents 158-7, with five shutouts, and ended the year with an overall scoring advantage of 24.5-to.6.5. Gilman ended the year with a No. 15 national ranking and its first-ever No. 1 ranking in the East Region by USA Today. Carroll also ranked as the Greyhounds' No. 1 tackler last season, when he earned second-team All-Metro honors with four sacks, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions. That Gilman squad shut down five teams rated among Maryland's top 20 and finished 9-1. Carroll also is considered the state's best midfield prospect in lacrosse and earned All-Metro honors last spring. Carroll will play lacrosse at the University of Virginia.
Sheldon Bell, City
Known for his soft hands, leaping ability and precise pass routes as a receiver, Bell also made his mark as a defensive back. He had eight interceptions as part of a defense that sparked a 10-game winning streak -- allowing fewer than seven points a game during that period -- and a Class 3A state semifinal berth for the 10th-ranked Knights (11-2). One of only three seniors who started on defense, Bell led a unit that intercepted a school-record 27 passes, and he clinched a win over Patterson with a game-ending interception. Bell, who will attend Duke next fall, also caught six touchdown passes for more than 500 yards.
B.J. Benning, River Hill
Although he faced double and even triple teams, the 6-foot, 280-pound senior totaled 75 tackles and a school-record 12 sacks as a nose guard and defensive end, and was the Howard County Defensive Player of The Year. Benning had three sacks in the Hawks' 15-14 loss to county co-champion Long Reach. He also had three sacks in River Hill's 34-28 victory over top-seeded Severna Park in the program's first regional final berth. Benning had two sacks and two tackles for lost yardage in the Hawks' 30-21 Class 3A state semifinal loss to eventual state champion Gwynn Park (14-0).
Jason Burns, South Carroll
He was among the eighth-ranked Cavaliers' most consistent contributors on both sides of the ball, leading South Carroll to the program's first state title game, where it lost to Potomac in the 2A final. As a defensive back, the senior made more than 100 tackles for the Cavaliers, and had a team-high eight interceptions. As a quarterback, Burns threw for 1,408 yards and 12 touchdowns. Burns also served as the Owls' punter. Among Burns' best games was a 27-18 semifinal win over Milford Mill, during which he made two interceptions, had 10 tackles and threw two scoring passes.
Ben Eaton, Gilman
The junior ranked second on the team in tackles (97), fumble recoveries (four) and fumbles caused (four); third in disrupted passes (five), sacks (four) and interceptions (two); and fourth in tackles for lost yardage (11). Eaton, 5 feet 11 and 225 pounds, used his speed and strength on both sides of the ball, gaining 424 yards as the Greyhounds' second-leading rusher. Eaton, who is the son of Dunbar coach Ben Eaton Sr., was also effective as a blocking fullback, helping Sean Price rush for nearly 2,000 yards.
Barney Ehrmann, Gilman
The senior led the Greyhounds with 14 sacks and ranked second on the team with 18 tackles for lost yardage. Ehrmann made 53 tackles overall, disrupted six passes, recovered three fumbles, caused three fumbles and intercepted a pass. Two of Ehrmann's best games were shutouts against Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference rivals McDonogh and Loyola. Ehrmann had two sacks against McDonogh, and a sack, interception and pass deflection against Loyola. The son of former Baltimore Colt Joe Ehrmann, Barney will play lacrosse at Georgetown.
Bryn Holmes, McDonogh
As a defensive back and linebacker, the senior made 110 tackles, intercepted three passes and recovered three fumbles to help the No. 3 Eagles to a runner-up finish in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. Perhaps Holmes' best game was in a 14-9 win over Loyola, as he had an interception, a tackle for lost yardage during a goal-line stand and rushed for 180 yards and both scores. An All-Metro and private schools state champion wrestler and second-team All-Metro lacrosse midfielder, Holmes will play lacrosse at Maryland.
Aaron Maybin, Mount Hebron
Despite being slowed by a knee injury, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior had 10 sacks and 82 tackles -- 42 unassisted. Maybin had 35 career sacks for the Vikings and was Mount Hebron's first Division I prospect since Steve Dalton attended Maryland in 1972. Maybin committed early to Penn State, ending a hotly contested battle for the Baltimore area's No. 1 football recruit that included Florida, Virginia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Maryland. Maybin cited the Nittany Lions' recent surge in the national rankings, their 88 percent minority graduation rate, and the fact that coach Joe Paterno started freshman Derrick Williams of Eleanor Roosevelt as his reasons for choosing Penn State.
Brandon McDonald, Milford Mill
As a free safety, the senior made a team-high nine interceptions and was a catalyst for the Millers, who went 11-2 and captured Baltimore County's 2A-1A crown and the Class 2A North regional title and finished with a No. 9 ranking. McDonald teamed in the backfield with Rashod Underwood, who had six sacks and five interceptions and returned two of his four blocked punts for touchdowns. McDonald, who will attend Towson, had one of his best games against Hereford in a come-from-behind, 35-21 victory. He had two interceptions, one of which led to a touchdown, and made a touchdown reception for a key score. For the season, McDonald had 35 receptions for 1,016 yards (29 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns.
Jake Quigg, Loyola
The senior punted for nearly a 40-yard average, and his placement and accuracy allowed the Dons to pin rival offenses deep in their own territory. Quigg also excelled at defensive end, with 10 sacks, three fumble recoveries and three tackles for lost yardage. "Jake is the best pass rusher I have ever coached," Loyola coach Brian Abbott said. In the Dons' year-ending, 31-13 victory over Calvert Hall, Quigg had seven tackles, caused a fumble and had one sack. Also a highly touted third baseman in baseball, Quigg is being recruited for that sport by a number of collegiate programs.
Brian Taylor, Long Reach
A four-year starter and a second-team All-Metro selection last season, Taylor led the Lightning in tackles for the second straight year and was voted Defensive Player of The Year by Howard County coaches for the second consecutive season. The senior made 74 solo tackles (54 assisted) as a linebacker. "He was tough against the run -- the kind of player who could take on blockers in the middle and blow them up," River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said. Taylor, who carries a 3.93 grade point average and is considering business or sports medicine as majors in college, has drawn interest from programs such as Towson, Delaware, Richmond and James Madison.
Mike Whittles, Archbishop Spalding
He made eight of his 104 tackles for lost yardage, recovered two of his five caused fumbles and moved to defensive back for the Cavaliers' Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference title game victory over Boys' Latin. Whittles limited All-Metro receiver Brian Farrell to two receptions for 37 yards in the 35-10 victory. In defeating the Lakers, the Cavaliers captured their first football title in the program's history, finishing 10-1 and No. 15 in The Sun. Whittles was named The Sun's Defensive Player of The Year for Anne Arundel County.
Yusuf Dorman-El Dunbar, senior, lineman
Jerry Hauberger Eastern Tech, senior, lineman
Chris Herche South Carroll, senior, lineman
David Miller Joppatowne, senior, lineman
Nate Eyler Francis Scott Key, senior, linebacker
Nathan Matthews St. Paul's, senior, linebacker
Hezekiah Barrett Edgewood, senior, defensive back
Casey Creaney Loyola, senior, defensive back
Antione Smithson Douglass, senior, defensive back
Alexander Wilson Dunbar, senior, defensive back
Shawn Maczka Gilman, senior, punter
Tim Wells Perry Hall, senior, linebacker
Note: Teams selected by Lem Satterfield after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.