St. Frances senior wins Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year honors; Pratt is top coach (VIDEO HERE!)
by Derek Toney
After St. Frances Academy’s come-from-behind victory over Mount St. Joseph last Friday evening, Jamal West was about to leave the court for the locker room when longtime Dunbar fan Vivian Hockaday walked up and gave him a hug.
“He’s not at Dunbar but I still support him,” said Hockaday.
Last season, West went across Monument and Madison Streets over in East Baltimore to St. Frances Academy, helping the Panthers to the MIAA A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League titles. Monday, the senior forward was selected BCL Player of the Year.
West is the first Panthers player to win the Jerry Savage Award since DaQuan Bracey, who was co-Player of the Year with John Carroll School’s Immanuel Quickley in 2016. Bracey is starring at Louisiana Tech while Quickley, a former McDonald’s All-American and VSN Player of the Year, is at Kentucky.
West, 6-foot-5, is averaging 16 points and nine rebounds for the area’s top-ranked Panthers (33-3 overall), ranked No. 8 nationally by ESPN.
“I couldn’t had do it without my team and coaches, they definitely pushed me,” said West. “They helped me become a better leader.”
West has been arguably the area’s best front court performer with his explosiveness and relentless work rate.
Panthers coach Nick Myles said West is the best front court player he’s coached.
“He’s a fearless competition…he has that will to win,” said Myles, in his ninth season at St. Frances. “It’s not about individual awards for him, just championships.”
West was joined on the first team by Panther teammate and senior guard Adrian Baldwin, Mount St. Joseph seniors Tyler Brelsford and Jason Edokpayi, Loyola Blakefield senior Mitch Fischer, and sophomores Tyson Commander (John Carroll) and Cameron Whitmore (Archbishop Spalding).
Spalding first-year coach Josh Pratt was selected the Ray O. Mullis recipient as Coach of the Year. Pratt previously won at Towson Catholic as co-coach with legendary St. Frances coach William Wells in 2008.
Edokpayi was named Most Improved Player (Cokey Robertson Award). St. Frances junior center Julian Reese won Defensive Player of the Year (Mark Amatucci Award).
2020 BALTIMORE CATHOLIC LEAGUE TEAM
Player of the Year (Jerry Savage Award) – Jamal West, St. Frances Academy
Defensive Player of the Year (Mark Amatucci Award) – Julian Reese, St. Frances Academy
Most Improved Player (Cokey Robertson Award) – Jason Edokpayi, Mount St. Joseph
Coach of the Year (O. Ray Mullis Award) – Josh Pratt, Archbishop Spalding
Adrian Baldwin, St. Frances Academy, senior
Tyler Brelsford, Mount St. Joseph, senior
Jason Edokpayi, Mount St. Joseph, senior
Mitch Fischer, Loyola Blakefield, senior
Cameron Whitmore, Archbishop Spalding, sophomore
Tyson Commander, John Carroll School, sophomore
Jalen Bryant, John Carroll School, junior
Ausar Crawley, Mount St. Joseph, junior
Briggs McClain, St. Maria Goretti, senior
Deon Perry, Mount Carmel, sophomore
Matt Rogers, St. Maria Goretti, senior
Mike Williams, Calvert Hall College, freshman
Honorable mention – Sarmartine Bogues, Calvert Hall; Jordan Moore, Loyola Blakefield; Toby Nnadozie, Mount Carmel; Tyheil Peterson, Archbishop Spalding; Julian Reese, St. Frances; C. J. Scott, Archbishop Spalding; Cam Smith, Loyola Blakefield; Khyrie Staten, St. Frances; Cesar Tchilombo, John Carroll
Dave Kropfelder “Never, Never Quit” Awards – Elijah Davis, St. Frances; Rece Gardner, Loyola; Christian Longerbeam, Goretti; Ryan Sand, Calvert Hall; Bryce Meads, John Carroll; Cameron Sapienza, Mount St. Joseph; N’Koke Turner, Spalding
2020 Baltimore Catholic League first team (from left to right): Cameron Whitmore (Spalding), Tyson Commander (John Carroll), Jamal West (St. Frances), Jason Edokpayi (Mount St. Joseph), Tyler Brelsford (Mount St. Joseph) and Mitch Fischer (Loyola)