THE METROPOLITAN AWARDS – Coach of the year preview
BY MATT COHEN
The Metropolitan Awards are almost here! The event will take place from 6:30 to 9:00 on March 12 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington D.C. The voting committee of Marc Stern (Capitol Hoops), James Parker Jr (PYBL) Marcus Helton (DMV Elite), Arize Ifejika (More Than Basketball), Ron Bailey (I-95 Ballerz), Jake Rosen (Jake in the Paint), Dave Dickerson (Hoop Kidz), Josh Morgan (Triple Threat Classic), Kyle McFadden (MD Sports Access), Colby Giacubeno (Prep Hoops MD) and Troy Queen (Sports Majors) will vote on 10 categories, including coach of the year. There are 14 nominees for the award. Below is a preview for each candidate.
– Jeff Holda, Gaithersburg (MD)
Holda has led an incredible turnaround for the Trojans. Last year, Gaithersburg was a five seed in the playoffs, and lost in the first round. Under Holda’s guidance, Gaithersburg came back this season and won the 4A West Region, their first region title since 1998.
– Angelo Hernandez, Wilson (DC)
Hernandez led Wilson to a DCSAA title this year, defeating two WCAC powers (Gonzaga and St. John’s) in the process. In addition, Wilson captured the DCIAA title. Wilson also defeated Rock Creek Christian, Bladensburg and Episcopal this season. The Tigers have a 33-10 record.
– Renard Johnson, Potomac (MD)
Potomac’s season ended with a loss to Poly, but Johnson’s team had an impressive 2017-18 season, finishing with a 21-3 record. As of late February, Potomac was ranked 13th in The Washington Post.
– Nick Myles, St. Frances (MD)
With a 34-5 record this year, Myles has led a St. Frances team that is not just one of the best squad’s in Maryland, but one of the best in the nation. St. Frances notched three wins over John Carroll, two over Mount Saint Josephs as well as a win against Poly.
– Steve Turner, Gonzaga (DC)
Turner’s Gonzaga team came very close to winning the WCAC title, but they did pick up arguably the biggest win of the season, taking down Paul VI in the WCAC semifinals. Gonzaga went 27-8 this year with wins over Paul VI, DeMatha and St. Frances. Turner’s job is especially impressive as he lost star Prentiss Hubb to an ACL tear before the season.
– Chad Dawson, Loudoun Valley (VA)
Loudoun Valley is ranked ninth in The Washington Post with a 25-2 record with Dawson at the helm. Dawson led the team to 18 consecutive wins, most of which came in blowout fashion. Loudoun Valley is in the Virginia Class 4 final four.
– Cyrus Jones, Dunbar (MD)
Jones led Dunbar to a successful 2017-18 season. The Poets finished the year 17-4 and defeated Pikesville in the 1A North region championship to advance to Xfinity. Jones led Dunbar to signature wins over Millford Mill and Old Mill.
– Chuck Henry, Fairmont Heights (MD)
For yet another year, Fairmont Heights is one of the top teams in Prince George’s county. Henry’s team has a 22-5 record, and won the 1A South region in the 2018 MPSSAA playoffs.
– Chris Cole, Rock Creek Christian (MD)
Ranked fourth in The Washington Post with a 23-3 record, RCCA, under the guidance of Cole, is one of the DMV’s most dominant squads. RCCA has wins over Riverdale Baptist, Bladensburg and Fairmont Heights.
– Glen Farello, Paul VI (VA)
Farello’s Paul VI team completed arguably the greatest regular season in the history of the WCAC. The Panthers went 18-0 in the nation’s best conference. Paul VI dealt with injuries to key players all year long, but Farello was still able to guide his team to victory.
– Dwayne Shackleford, Friendship Tech (DC)
Shackleford is at the helm of a top 10 ranked Friendship Tech team with a 23-3 record. Friendship Tech has an impressive resume with wins over Bladensburg, Thurgood Marshall, Maret and Dunbar (DC).
– Chris Bohlen, Paint Branch (MD)
Paint Branch rolled through the regular season, including a 12 game win streak. Bohlen has installed a strong scheme for the Panthers, one that plays exceptionally well on defense, where they are a turnover creating machine, and an offense that can score in the triple digits as it did against Gaithersburg.
– Mike Powell, Carroll (DC)
Powell led an amazing turnaround at Carroll. Last year, Carroll went 0-18 in the WCAC, and this year, they went 8-11 in the conference. While their 17-12 overall record may not illustrate it, Powell rolled out a formidable Carroll team. Carroll may not have a signature win, but they took Paul VI to overtime, and hung with every single WCAC contender.
– Ricardo Reed, Flint Hill (VA)
Reed led Flint Hill to a 22-7 record this season, and finished as the runner-up in the MAC conference. Flint Hill loaded up an impressive resume, with wins over Maret, Dunbar (DC), St. Andrew’s, Potomac (VA), St. James, Sidwell and Madison (VA).