Player of the year
Sean SwetnamAfter being the hard-luck loser in Eleanor Roosevelt’s state Class 4A semifinal loss in 2006, Swetnam came back with a vengeance this spring, lifting the Raiders to their first state championship. The senior right-hander was 8-0 with a 1.39 earned run average. In the state semifinal against Quince Orchard, Swetnam was lifted at the start of the seventh inning, but returned to get the final out in an 11-7 victory. He was brilliant in the state final against Sherwood, pitching a complete-game four-hitter in a 7-1 victory. Swetnam struck out 83 in 50 1/3 innings and finished his prep career with a 24-2 mark and 236 strikeouts. He will play at George Mason University.
Coach of the Year
Andrew CapeceIn his 11th season at his alma mater, Capece guided Eleanor Roosevelt to the school’s first state championship. Despite an 0-6 mark in the state semifinals, Capece was quietly confident Roosevelt had a good chance to finally break through. The Raiders (24-2) beat Montgomery County schools Quince Orchard and previously unbeaten Sherwood for the title. Capece, 35, is among the best coaches in the county, with seven state semifinal appearances and three county titles.
Carl Travers, catcher, Riverdale Baptist: Making his second consecutive first-team appearance, Travers batted .476 with 19 doubles, five triples and six homers, 44 runs and 61 runs batted in for 29-18 Crusaders. Travers also threw out more than half of the baserunners attempting to steal.
Reuben Castro, outfielder, High Point: A repeat Star/Gazette first-teamer, Castro led the Eagles to a second-place finish behind eventual state champ Roosevelt in the County 4A League. The senior batted .458 with 24 RBI and a team-leading 10 doubles. Castro also had a .974 fielding percentage, committing just one error.
Casey Conrad, infielder, Eleanor Roosevelt: A two-time Star/Gazette first-team pick, Conrad was the offensive catalyst for the state 4A champions. The junior led the Raiders in seven categories including batting (.500), RBI (29), runs scored (32) and stolen bases (10).
Matt Cunningham, outfielder, Bowie: Cunningham was a steady influence at the top of the Bulldogs’ lineup. The senior batted .462 with three home runs, 18 RBI and 25 stolen bases for Bowie, which lost to eventual state champion Roosevelt, 3-2, in the 4A South Region final. Cunningham, who was moved to the leadoff spot from the No. 4 spot, also had 10 doubles, two triples and walked 21 times.
Kevin Fink, catcher, Bowie: Fink emerged as one of the county’s premier underclassmen. The junior led the 4A South Region finalists in hitting (.481) and RBI (25) and had a team-best 12 doubles. As a catcher, Fink threw out 14 of 20 would-be base stealers.
Kiernan Flannery, pitcher, St. Vincent Pallotti: Though Pallotti was unable to win a third straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference title, Flannery was arguably the league’s top player. He posted a 5-3 mark with 66 strikeouts in 53 innings. The two-time MIAA B all-star pick also batted .468 with eight home runs and 45 RBIs.
Raynel Gibson, outfielder, Laurel: Gibson was a big reason the Spartans went from six victories in 2006 to 13 this year and the No. 4 seed in the 4A South Region playoffs. The junior batted .414 (team-high) and stole 51 bases in as many attempts. Gibson also led Laurel in slugging percentage (.672) and scored 34 runs.
Tommy Haines, infielder/pitcher, Parkdale: A second-team selection a year ago, Haines helped get the Panthers (13-6) to the 4A South Region semifinals. The shortstop batted .345 with five home runs and 31 RBI and went 8-2 with 31 strikeouts and a 2.13 ERA on the mound. Haines knocked off region No. 2 seed High Point with a complete-game performance.
Nick Rahl, outfielder, Parkdale: Rahl hit .360 with seven home runs and a team-leading 48 RBI for the Riverdale school, which lost to Bowie in extra innings in the region semifinals. With Rahl and fellow first-teamer Haines both returning in 2008, Parkdale should be a factor in the County 4A next spring.
Anderson Rodriguez, pitcher, High Point: Though High Point didn’t get back to the 4A South Region finals, Rodriguez was a huge bright spot. The senior left-hander went 4-1 with 36 strikeouts in 36.1 innings, and a 2.12 ERA. Rodriguez, a second-team Star/Gazette pick in 2006, was fourth on the Eagles with 17 RBI.
Joey Reid, infielder, Gwynn Park: Reid showed this season why he’s listed with the nickname ‘‘Prime Time” on the Yellow Jackets’ Web site. Reid was second on the team in batting average (.421) and finished tied for second on the team with 18 RBI. Reid had a team-high 15 extra-base hits and seven home runs and had a .550 on-base percentage in 81 plate appearances.
Mike August, infielder, Bishop McNamara: In an otherwise difficult season, August was the standout performer for the Mustangs. A Washington Catholic Athletic Conference first-team selection, August batted .419 this season with one home run and 10 RBI. August also was one of the most reliable fielders in the WCAC, with a .965 fielding percentage at shortstop.
Nick Rivers, outfielder, DeMatha: Rivers was one of DeMatha’s most productive offensive players, batting .398, with 18 extra-base hits (five home runs, 10 doubles, three triples). A Washington Catholic Athletic Conference first-team player, Rivers had a .771 slugging percentage and a .474 on-base percentage with 33 hits and 12 runs scored.
Brendan Louzupone, pitcher,DeMatha: The junior became one of the Stags’ top pitchers this season. A second-team Washington Catholic Athletic Conference selection, Louzupone went 4-2 with a 2.69 ERA with 32 strikeouts while walking only nine batters and yielding 16 runs in 41 1/3 innings pitched. Offensively, Louzupone batted .313 with a .421 on-base percentage.
Tommy Winegardner, Ryan Douglas and Anthony Wilson, Riverdale Baptist
Kyle Grant and Adam Scherer, Bowie
James Najera and Herman Scholtz, DeMatha
Brandon Colbert and FreddieCurtis, Frederick Douglass
Brandon Proctor and Moses Muldrow, Gwynn Park
Julio Richardson and JuniorMarenco, Northwestern
A.J. Hernandez, Oxon Hill
Troy Langway, St. Vincent Pallotti
Rafael Yancy, Parkdale
Thomas Fenster, Mike Kerdock, Chris McCaslin and BrianWhitmore, Eleanor Roosevelt
Jarrell Chance and Kenny Minor, Surrattsville.
All-county teams are selected by the Star/Gazette sports staff based on athletes’ performances and nominations from coaches. Staff writers Derek Toney and Terron Hampton compiled this page.