By Jon Buzby
Maryland's annual Crab Bowl, featuring the state's top high school football players and coaches, will take place Saturday, December 20, beginning at 1 p.m.
The game will be played at Johnny Unitas Statium on the Towson University campus.
For more information about the game, visit the game’s site at www.marylandcrabbowl.com.
Baltimore Metro Area Players and Coach of the Year
Dunbar’s Tavon Austin found himself in familiar territory last week when he accepted the Baltimore Metro Area’s football offensive player of the year award for the third consecutive season.
"Three years, it's an honor," Austin told the Baltimore Sun. "My whole time at Dunbar, I've had great players around me."
Austin, listed at 5-feet-9 and 170 pounds, finished his illustrious career with four state records: points (790), touchdowns (123), total offensive yards (9,258) and rushing yards (7,460). He helped lead Dunbar to three consecutive Class 1A state championships, including this past season when he had 218 carries for 2,260 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Austin has narrowed his college choices to Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina and West Virginia.
On the defensive side of the ball, Loyola’s senior linebacker Matt Heacock led his team on and off the field, helping the Dons overcome the death of a teammate on their way to a perfect 11-0 season. He has been named the Metro Area’s defensive player of the year.
The 6-foot, 210-pound Heacock led the team in tackles with 101, recorded two interceptions and blocked a punt.
Tony Shermeyer led a Century team that had never had a winning record to a perfect regular season and berth in the Class 2A state semifinals. In recognition of his team’s accomplishments, Shermeyer was named the Metro Area’s coach of the year.
Shermeyer, who came to Century in 2001 as an assistant coach when the school first opened, took over the head coaching reigns in 2005 and endured three losing seasons before guiding the eight-year-old program to a perfect regular season and the school’s first-ever playoff berth.
Shermeyer credited his assistant coaches and players, particularly Luke Wright, who he asked to move from the quarterback position to wide receiver for the benefit of the team. It was a move Shermeyer feels was vital in the team’s unparalleled success.
“It was absolutely the reason we won,” Shermeyer told the Baltimore Sun when asked about the position change. “ … Luke never complained and accepted his role even though it put him in a less involved position.”
All-Metro First Team Offense
Michael Campanaro, River Hill, running back: Howard County’s Player of the Year ran for 1,848 yards and 29 touchdowns. He will attend Wake Forest in the fall.
Roges’ Butler, Joppatowne, lineman: The 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior opened holes for the team’s backfield to run for over 4,000 yards. He is expected to play at a Division III school next year.
Bill Cosh, Arundel, quarterback: Cosh threw for a state record 3,913 yards and 56 touchdowns while completing 65 percent of his passes and leading Arundel to an 11-2 record.
Nick DePaola, Hereford, running back: Scored 19 touchdowns on the ground and through the air to lead the Bulls to a 10-3 season. Towson and Rutgers are both interested in DePaola.
Beau Haworth, Archbishop Spalding, lineman: The 6-foot-7, 290-pound behemoth will play in the Crab Bowl before attending the Naval Academy in the fall.
Alex Kirsch, Eastern Tech, lineman: The 6-foot-3, 339-pound senior was a reserve as a junior, but off-season workouts helped him lead his team to the state finals. Kirsch is being recruited by Albany and Robert Morris.
Alec Lemon, Arundel, receiver: The Syracuse-bound receiver caught 103 passes for 1,616 yards and 23 touchdowns. His number of pass receptions and touchdowns both tied state records.
Doug Shaw, Loyola, lineman: The two-time All-Metro first-team selection led the Dons to a 60 percent success rate on third-down attempts and 90 percent on fourth down. He will play in the BTC All-Star game before deciding where to take his football talents.
Dave Stinebaugh, Perry Hall, tight end: The gifted Maryland-bound two-way player is a two-time All-Metro first-team selection. Among his highlights were nine touchdowns, seven interceptions and five fumble recoveries, two of which he returned for touchdowns.
Scott Trench, River Hill, kicker: Despite only making one field goal in his career – a 27-yarder in the 1A state championship game – Trench’s selection comes from an impressive 28 kickoff touchbacks and converting 57 of 61 extra point attempts. The scholar-athlete hopes to play football for an academically-focused football program such as Boston College, Harvard, Lehigh or Vanderbilt.
Anthony Watters, Dunbar, lineman: The 6-foot-1, 235 pound senior opened holes for the Poets’ backfield trio all season long and was a key factor in the team’s state championship run. On the defensive side of the ball, Watters recorded 64 tackles and nine sacks.
All-Metro First Team Defense
Cory Anderlik, Century, linebacker: The 6-foot, 235-pound linebacker made 102 tackles, had two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and recorded three sacks in leading his team to its first-ever winning season. He is being recruited by Division I Robert Morris and Division II West Chester.
Terence Garvin, Loyola, defensive back: Garvin made 32 tackles and had two interceptions to lead a tough defense that contributed to Loyola’s perfect season and third-consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship. Garvin will take his talents to West Virginia next season.
Sean Hull, River Hill, lineman: The 6-foot-2, 300-pound nose guard had 58 tackles and helped lead a defense that recorded seven shutouts during its perfect season. Hull is considering Bucknell, Temple, Towson, Wake Forest and William and Mary.
Danny March, Wilde Lake, defensive back: Howard County’s defensive player of the year had 127 tackles (94 unassisted) and seven interceptions – returning three for touchdowns. He also blocked three punts and a field goal attempt.
Horace Miller, Dunbar, defensive end: Miller’s 29 sacks were impressive, but none more than the one he had in the state championship game to seal the Poets’ win. The three-year starter also had 133 tackles (85 unassisted) and forced six fumbles. He most likely will play at Nevada-Las Vegas in the fall.
Gary Onuekwusi, Dunbar, linebacker: The 6-foot-2, 220 pound three-year starter had 156 tackles (96 unassisted), 4 1/2 sacks and five forced fumbles. He is being recruited by Hampton, Liberty, Massachusetts, Syracuse and Temple.
Elliott Poehlman, Loyola, lineman: The 6-foot-2, 245-pound three-year starter made 44 tackles for a defense that gave up only 76 points in 11 games. He will play in the Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star game before deciding where to play next year – most likely at a Division IAA or II school.
Malek Redd, River Hill, cornerback: The speedy defensive back made 27 tackles and had two interceptions this season while consistently shutting down opponents’ top receivers. He will take his talents to Central Michigan in the fall.
Renard Robinson, Mount St. Joseph, defensive back: Robinson recorded 37 tackles while also starring on the offensive side of the ball. His 3.8 grade point average and football skills will most likely land him at a Division IAA program next year, possibly James Madison, Richmond, Villanova or William and Mary. Division I Connecticut and Syracuse have also expressed interest.
Tyler Weedon, Catonsville, linebacker: The All-Baltimore County sophomore, who is the youngest All-Metro first-team selection, led his team with 148 tackles. UCLA and Clemson are already both courting this talented young man.
Aaron Wilson, Eastern Tech, lineman: This multi-faceted player saw time at linebacker and nose guard while making 98 tackles and forcing three fumbles. He also blocked four punts and recorded 11 sacks for the Class 2A state finalists. He will most likely attend a Division III school.
Jon Buzby is the Maryland correspondent for MaxPreps.com.