SMFCA releases SMAC All-Conference honors

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County
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A List of All-Conference Players is located below the article.

Lexington Park, MD - Following the Fall, Winter, and Spring sports seasons the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference (SMAC) has, for many years, had coaches vote on players for all-conference teams. This year, however, the conference elected not to make those selections. This followed some criticism on the representation of athletes in certain sports. This decision prompted football coaches in the area to get together and find a solution.

Among those coaches is Calvert’s Head Coach Rick Sneade who helped found the Southern Maryland Football Coaches Association (SMFCA) that released a list of all-conference players independently from SMAC. Sneade serves as the president of the association with North Point’s head coach Tom Petre acting as vice president and Northern’s Steve Crounse as another officer.

The idea for a coaches’ association had been tossed around before, said Sneade, but the decision to not have an all-conference list pushed the coaches to get together. “A lot of our coaches were concerned about the representation that our players were going to lose, the distinction of their performance and effort.”

The voting process consists of coaches sending in players they feel are possibly deserving of the honor. Coaches then deliberate on the list, watching film of any players they didn’t get a chance to play against or want to see more and evaulate. During the end of season meeting, the coaches would normally have they voted on first team athletes and then the second. Each team was able to submit two players for an honorable mention. The academic all-conference honors were awarded to senior athletes that were able to maintain a 3.25 GPA or higher through their first three years of high school.

“The voting process and careful consideration that football has taken are the same as it’s always been,” stated Sneade, who elaborated that the coaches were now able to make some changes to how the teams were comprised. “When you had All-SMAC designations, they limited the number of awards you could give to each sport because, fairly enough, they were covering the responsibility and expenses for an entire conference of sports… With us though, we’re taking care of this on our side, we could come up with what we felt was most appropriate for the award.” Those changes made include combining both the Potomac and Chesapeake divisions, so they are considered together and adding positions on the defensive and offensive ends of the ball. Previously, each side of the ball was given 11 spots but now there are 13 offensive positions and 12 defensive— accounting for differences in formations, schemes and player types that vary between the 14 SMAC schools.

Presently, the association has only released its all-conference teams, but it may, in the future, venture into other pursuits like coaching clinics and combines for players.

Among those acknowledged was North Point’s Malik Lawrence who is the conference’s Player of the Year. Lawrence lead the nation in interceptions with 15 and the state in receiving with 1,236 yards. Coach of the Year went to North Point Head Coach Tom Petre who was the only coach to lead his team to a state title game this year and the first in his school’s history.

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