all of every game, and earned a spot on the first-team defense as a utility player. He led Kent with a team-high 94 tackles — 11 for loss — and returned two interceptions 90 or more yards for touchdowns.
Earning the Bayside’s Defensive Player of the Year was Easton outside linebacker Zack Strand, who totaled 82 tackles, seven sacks, and three fumble recoveries.
Strand was “one of the most important parts of our defense,” Easton head coach Matt Griffith said. “Zack brings a presence on the field, not just with his athleticism, but his football IQ. He watches a lot of game film and understands what he has to do.”
Strand was also a force offensively, compiling more than 700 all-purpose yards and scoring a team-high 12 touchdowns for the Warriors, who improved from 2-8 last year to 7-3 in 2016, finishing one spot out of the Class 2A East playoff field.
“[He has] a huge impact. Not having him last year, him getting hurt, not able to play, we weren’t sure what we were gonna get. But he really came around this year,” Griffith added. “[he’s] not only a big playmaker, but he made some trouble for offenses, too. I think he had eight-nine sacks for the season, and did a great job for us. He was a leader on and off the field.”
Easton’s three losses came against 2A opponents which made the playoffs. Its final defeat came in Week 8 by a 14-7 score against Kent Island, which finished 9-2 and qualified for the playoffs for the ninth straight season, its second under head coach Damian Ferragamo.
Ferragamo, whose eye for defense resulted in three shutouts, a 9-1 regular-season record, and a 332-88 advantage in points scored, was named Bayside Coach of the Year by his colleagues.
“To me, winning an award like this isn’t just an honor, it’s a special one,” Ferragamo said. “When you win an award like this, from the guys you coach against, it means a lot because they know what you go through as a coach, they know what you have going on.”
“I think every year at Kent Island, we expect to be successful,” said Ferragamo, who praised his players’ ability to handle the pressures of a season. “It’s really a team award; they recognize the job that our kids have done this season.”
“There was a lot about the season [that] was a mystery going in,” Ferragamo said. “We graduated a good number of our touchdowns. It was slow in the beginning. In the preseason, we had some bad practices, because ever ybody was still trying to fit in, to learn what their role was on the team. We had a lot of guys at new positions. What I remember the most, is how all the kids came together and played as a unit.
“We’ve had a few stars over the years,” Ferragamo said. “We’re usually very team oriented, not one standout, and this year was the epitome of that. We had three tailbacks that carried the ball, not just that one superstar. The way they came together and played as a team was phenomenal.”
James M. Bennett place kicker Stephen Oscar, the only junior to receive a Player of the Year award, was named the top special teams player.
Here’s a look at the other North Bayside players who received all-conference recognition:
First Team Offense Quarterback: Mason Ledford (Jr., Easton), Mike D’Angelo (Sr., Queen Anne’s); Running Back: David Bailey (Jr., North Caroline), Tre’ Lake (Sr., Cambridge-SD); Fullback: Allan Saathoff (Sr., North Caroline); Slot Receiv- ers: T.J. Nixon (Sr., EAS), Tajh Molock (Jr., CSD), C.J. Rogers (Sr., QA); Wide Receivers: Dashawn Lister (Jr., KC), Tahijere Nixon (So., EAS), Sean Mooney (Jr., KI); Tight End: Tyler Bonner (Sr., QA), Luke Ruffo (Sr., NC); Offensive Line: Tony Figueroa (Sr., NC), Drew Griffith (Sr., EAS), Jordan Waters (Sr., QA), Justin Johnson (Sr., KI), Trent Riggs (Sr., QA); Placekicker: Bert Schrecongost (Sr., KI).
First Team Defense Tackles: Frank Rotondo (Sr., KI), Ja’Mion Franklin (Jr., NC), Justin Fenwick, (Jr., EAS); Ends: Austin Ryan (Sr., KI), Navar Solis (Sr., NC); Outside Linebackers: Braden Doyle (Sr., KI), Brandon Tibbs (Sr., CSD), Jordan Wilmer (Sr., QA); Inside Linebackers: Mike Scott (Sr., KI), Allan Saathoff (Sr., NC), Tyler Bonner (Sr., QA); Cornerbacks: T.J. Nixon (Sr., EAS), Jordan Callahan (Sr., QA); Safeties Mikey Monroe (Sr., QA), Tre’ Wright (So., KC).
Special Teams Kickoff Returner: Tajh Molock (Jr., CSD); Special teams utility player: Johnny Harrison (Sr., KI). Second Team Offense QB: Tyler Harding (Jr., CSD); RB: Braden Doyle (Sr., KI), Eric Joseph (Sr. Colonel Richardson), Zack Strand (Sr., EAS); FB: Brandon Hickman (Sr., QA); Slot: Takai Caulk (Sr., KC); WR: Matt Farrow (Sr., EAS); TE: Jake Morris (Sr., CSD); OL: Matt Hartman (So., KC); Troy Chester (Sr., CSD); Garrett Redden (Jr., KI); Justin Fenwick (Jr., EAS); All-Purpose: Tajh Molock (Jr., CSD). Second Team Defense DT: Drew Griffith (Sr., EAS); Jordan Waters (Sr., QA); DE: Xavier Jones (Sr., KC); OLB: Owen Joseph (Jr., KI); Trent Riggs (Sr., QA); ILB: Kobi Ruark (Sr., CSD); Devin Thompson (Jr., KC); CB: Sean Mooney (Jr., KI), Koby Jones (Sr., CSD); S: Wyatt Gross (Sr., NC), C.J. Brummell (Sr., CSD); Utility: Dylan Finley (Jr. KI); Special Teams Utility: Mikey Monroe (Sr., QA).
Honorable Mention Cambridge-SD: Josh Townsend (Jr., OL); Hunter Brown (Sr., OL); Curtis Stanton (Sr., OL); Jimmy Schulze (Jr., WR).; Caleb Ruark (Sr., OL).
Col. Richardson: Speller (Jr., CB).
Easton: Brandon Spearman (Sr., OL); Derrick Duah (Sr., DT); Emma Skoglund (Sr., K); Ben Morse (Sr., OLB); Carter Taylor (Jr., LB).
Kent County: Josh Thompson (So., OL); Chas Willis (Sr., DL); Patrick Kulley (Sr., Darrion
Queen Anne’s quarterback Mike D’Angelo has been named first-team All-Bayside Conference.