2002 All-Metro Football Team - Defense
Gilman's Ambrose Wooden and Victor Abiamiri, football players of the year (Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. / December 9, 2002)
When someone is 16 years old, the youngest of three boys and his mother considers him her "baby boy," you wouldn't initially think of that person as someone who strikes fear into others his age.
Unless that someone is Victor Abiamiri, a hulking, 6-foot-5, 240-pounder with 4.5-second speed that enables him to hunt down quarterbacks and running backs with the speed of, well, most running backs.
The senior defensive end, capable of bench-pressing 320 pounds, also can simply bowl over overmatched offensive linemen.
Coming off an All-Metro season in which he amassed 16 sacks, Abiamiri played much of the season while enduring an ankle injury. In addition, every team designed its offensive blocking schemes to prevent his penetration.
Yet Abiamiri's 12 sacks and 17 tackles for lost yardage still ranked first on the Greyhounds. He totaled 52 tackles and had one interception.
In one of his best games, Abiamiri had five sacks in a season-opening victory over DeMatha, which was held to 42 rushing yards and 147 passing. An A student with an 1,140 SAT score, Abiamiri has visited Princeton and has planned visits to Notre Dame, Miami, Maryland, North Carolina and Stanford.
Zach Armiger, Hereford
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior played noseguard as a junior, but was moved to defensive end and tight end this year. Not only did Armiger thrive in his new role, but he was just as dangerous on the offensive side of the ball.
Armiger registered 10 sacks - second on a team that allowed, on average, eight points a game. He also ranked among the Bulls' top tacklers on a defense that has held every opposing rusher below 100 yards in its past 23 games.
On offense, Armiger was a strong blocker. He also caught 20 passes for 432 yards and three touchdowns. Armiger, who has clocked a 4.7-second 40-yard dash, has gotten looks from Northeastern, Towson, James Madison and Norwich.
Devon Douglass, Calvert Hall
When it came to clogging the middle, Douglass had the girth and mobility to do so. The 6-3, 270-pound senior had a penchant for getting into the opposition's backfield and disrupting plays before they started.
Douglass made more than 20 of his 90-some tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including nine sacks for a team that had no problem generating its own offense.
Douglass lists Towson, Maryland, Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette and Central Connecticut as schools that are interested in his run-stopping abilities.
Matt Eckerl, Calvert Hall
Though he stands only 5-8 and weighs little more than 165 pounds, Eckerl thrived on the close encounter.
A sure tackler, particularly in the open field, Eckerl made 10 of his nearly 100 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The senior, who was named a second-team All-Metro selection last fall, also made four interceptions among the nine passes he defended.
A vicious hitter, Eckerl always found a way to make a play or at least to be around the ball. He will play lacrosse at Towson.
Kevin Ganascioli, Glenelg
This 6-2, 195-pound senior two-way player projects as a defensive back in college, and his numbers show why.
Alternating as a linebacker and free safety, Ganascioli led the 10-1 Gladiators' charge to a share of the Howard County title with a team-high 83 tackles (60 solo), three sacks, a blocked punt, a blocked extra point and a fumble recovery.
He was named Howard County's Offensive Player of the Year for amassing 1,150 yards and 10 touchdowns. Towson, Richmond and William and Mary are among his college interests.
Demario Harris, Annapolis
This 5-8, 165-pound repeat All-Metro performer led the No. 7 Panthers to a 9-2 record and their 14th overall Class 3A state playoff berth - their sixth straight.
Harris defensed 16 passes, intercepting three of them. The senior also made eight of his 75 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Coach Roy Brown considered Harris his best one-on-one tackler and cover man.
Harris was named Anne Arundel County's Defensive Player of the Year, but he also excelled offensively. As a running back, Harris gained 1,027 yards with seven touchdowns.
Mark Hicks, Edmondson
Red Storm coach Pete Pompey coached Tommy Polley of the St. Louis Rams when the latter was a Dunbar freshman, and Pompey calls the 6-1, 220-pound Hicks "that same of player." Hicks led fourth-ranked Edmondson to the Class 2A state semifinals and an 11-1 record. Hicks averaged two sacks and led the Red Storm with more than 160 tackles. Hicks, who runs a 4.7-second 40-yard dash and bench-presses 245 pounds, is getting looks from Penn State, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
Nate Hummel, Gilman
At 6 feet, 210 pounds, the linebacker took the opposition head-on. Hummel, who runs a 4.7-second 40-yard dash, made 12 of his team-high 112 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Hummel also kept himself busy in other ways for the Greyhounds, making five sacks, recovering three fumbles and intercepting two passes. One of Hummel's best games was against Hyattsville power DeMatha, when he made 15 tackles.
Only a junior, Hummel already has attracted interest from Notre Dame, Connecticut, Virginia and Boston College.
Doug Smith, Wilde Lake
Named after former Wilde Lake noseguard Billy Douglas, a player known for his toughness, the 5-10, 240- pound Smith always was on the attack from sideline to sideline.
Smith, Howard County's Defensive Player of the Year, made 87 tackles (66 solo), with 24 of them going for lost yardage. He also caused six fumbles, recovered three fumbles, had four sacks and intercepted a pass.
"He was unblockable," Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet said. "He was the most dominant defensive player in the league without a doubt."
Smith, who also has wrestled, was also "a devastating blocker" on offense, Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall said. "He's like a big, old diesel truck," assistant Mike Harrison said of Smith, who may play at Salisbury.
Preston Pehrson, Broadneck
Pehrson earned All-Anne Arundel County honors for the third time this fall, and is All-Metro after being a second-teamer. Pehrson led the Bruins to a No. 5 area ranking and a 9-2 record.
A defensive end two years ago, the 6-1, 225-pound Pehrson improved on last year's efforts by amassing 111 tackles (78 solo) to go with an interception and three fumble recoveries.
A victory over Old Mill was among Pehrson's best games, as he sparked a shutout of the Patriots' Brashaad Mayweather - the county's Offensive Player of the Year. Coach Jeff Herrick called Pehrson "the best linebacker I've been associated with."
Chris Stimmel, Cardinal Gibbons
The 6-1, 215-pound senior averaged 46 yards a punt, put 15 of his kickoffs into the end zone, was 17-for-19 on extra points and 3-for-4 on field-goal attempts, with a long of 37 yards.
But that's not all. As a defensive player, Stimmel, who bench-presses 290 pounds, made 108 tackles and intercepted four passes. As a receiver, the two-time All-Baltimore City/County player caught six touchdown passes and rushed for two more.
A solid student, Stimmel is considering Towson, Navy, Western Michigan, Massachusetts, Marshall and Connecticut.
Derelle Taylor, Southern-Anne Arundel
The stocky 5-8, 205-pounder was tenacious from sideline to sideline, making a team-high 137 tackles as part of a defense that allowed 14.3 points a game. Taylor had eight tackles for lost yardage and two sacks.
In a quarterfinal loss to eventual state champ Hereford, Taylor helped hold Adam Goloboski, the area's top rusher, to a season-low 62 rushing yards. Goloboski was averaging 177.
"He's a versatile linebacker who filled a hole when you ran at him and he did a good job of pursuing when you ran away from him," Hereford offensive line coach John Walter said.
Nate Wdowiak, Hereford
Off the field, Wdowiak could be as quiet as a church mouse. But on the field, his actions spoke volumes.
The fiery 6-foot, 205- pound senior used his 4.7-second speed to register eight sacks - one that stopped Southern of Anne Arundel County's wishbone offense in a quarterfinal playoff win. Wdowiak ranked as the Bulls' No. 2 tackler on a defense that limited Southern's top back to 61 rushing yards, and the Bulldogs to 161 rushing yards overall. In its previous game, the Southern running back had amassed 259 of the Bulldogs' 455 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Iona College, Sacred Heart and Wagner are Wdowiak's college considerations.
Donald Williams, Eastern Tech
Nicknamed "The Ox-Man" by his teammates, Williams is as strong as one and, defensively, nearly as immovable.
The 6-1, 265-pound senior, who bench-presses 330 pounds, made six sacks among his 65 solo tackles as he helped the Mavericks to an 8-2 record. Despite his size, Williams has clocked a 4.9-second 40-yard dash, and has excellent lateral pursuit.
Williams lists Central Connecticut, Maryland, Richmond, Bucknell, Morgan, Towson and St. John's among the schools inquiring about him.
Nick Williams, Calvert Hall
The senior defensive back was among the toughest players on the field, and displayed enough speed to run down Ambrose Wooden and make a touchdown-preventing tackle in the Cardinals' lone loss.
Williams made eight of his 90 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He also broke up 15 passes and intercepted one. Offensively, the 5-9, 180-pounder rushed for 727 yards and 12 touchdowns. In his best offensive game, Williams rushed for 159 yards with touchdown runs of 9, 34 (twice) and 74 yards.
He is considering William and Mary, Richmond, Central Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Hofstra, Maryland and Towson for lacrosse and football.
Luke Wilson, Gilman
This 6-5, 230-pound senior was the perfect complement to Abiamiri, coming through to make 15 of his 57 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Wilson also had 10 sacks and made interceptions in each of the Greyhounds' wins over DeMatha and Urbana - victories that ended winning streaks of 22 and 50 games, respectively. The DeMatha game was one of the best for Wilson, who had 3 1/2 sacks against Maryland-bound quarterback Ryan Mitch.
Wilson will play lacrosse at Penn.
Grant Zimmerman, Gilman
Athough he was one of the smallest players on the Greyhounds' squad, Zimmerman also was among the most explosive.
Not only did the 5-9, 165- pound junior lead the Greyhounds in interceptions (three), passes defensed (12) and fumble recoveries (four), but he ranked third with 71 tackles from his defensive back position. In one of his best defensive games, Zimmerman made 18 tackles in a 48-45 victory over Mount St. Joseph.
Zimmerman, who also returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, is being recruited as a lacrosse goalie by North Carolina, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame and Syracuse.
Name School Class Position
Frank Curreri Calvert Hall Senior Lineman
Chris Knight Southern-AA Senior Lineman
Terrence Powell Dundalk Senior Lineman
Billy Rueter Hereford Soph. Lineman
Erin Henderson Aberdeen Junior Linebacker
Dennis Jackson Woodlawn Senior Linebacker
Domonique Owens Oakland Mills Junior Linebacker
Josh Rutter Francis Scott Key Junior Linebacker
Brady Smith Loyola Soph. Linebacker
Durant Cephers City Senior Defensive back
D'Angelo Goffigan Joppatowne Senior Defensive back
Chris Martin River Hill Senior Defensive back
Byron Selby Dunbar Senior Defensive back
Ryan Shupert Hereford Senior Defensive back
T.J. Swanson South Carroll Junior Defensive back
Clive Williams Eastern Tech Senior Defensive back
Josh Price Parkville Soph. Punter
Note: Teams selected by Lem Satterfield after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.