Calvert Hall’s Kelly and Farrare from McDonogh complete varsity careers with VSN’s Boys’ Lacrosse top player honors; Marriotts Ridge’s Incontrera adds Coach of the Year to impressive resume
by Derek Toney
BJ Farrare and Jacob Kelly has been the proverbial heart and soul for McDonogh School and Calvert Hall College’s boys lacrosse teams, respectively, the last four years.
Kelly helped navigate the Cardinals to a rare championship encore in the MIAA A Conference, the nation’s toughest conference. The attack is VSN’s Player of the Year.
Farrare was one of the country’s most dynamic defender this past spring, putting the Eagles again in the MIAA A championship hunt. The senior is VSN’s Defensive Player of the Year.
A champion as a player in high school and college, Tony Incontrera put Marriotts Ridge in the championship circle. The sixth-year coach is VSN”s Coach of the Year.
See below for our award profiles on each.
2018 VSN BOYS’ LACROSSE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CALVERT HALL COLLEGE
Kelly concluded his impressive varsity career in style. The senior attack is Varsity Sports Network’s Boys’ Lacrosse Player of the Year.
Kelly finished with 46 goals and 57 assists for the top-ranked Cardinals (16-3 overall), who repeated as MIAA A Conference champions. The Towson school became the first back-to-back champs in the nation’s toughest conference since Loyola Blakefield (2007 & 2008).
The Cardinals’ victory over Boys’ Latin School in the finale at Unitas Stadium capped an emotional season.
“This year was tough for a lot of different reasons,” said Kelly. “Things we weren’t expecting off the field that was tough, but help us bond as a a team.”
Dave Huntley, a longtime Calvert Hall assistant and National Lacrosse Hall of Fame player at Johns Hopkins University, died shortly before last Christmas. Henry Illardo, whose son Peter, was a senior co-captain on the 2018 squad, died hours before the Cardinals’ MIAA A semifinal match.
The Cardinals, the consensus preseason No. 1 in the area with four Inside Lacrosse Top 100 seniors, were disjointed at times. With the cerebral Kelly reestablishing his presence as the table setter and a vocal leader, Calvert Hall found its stride.
“Once we sacrificed our personal goals and desires and let it be and do our jobs, everything clicked,” said Kelly, whose team won their final seven decisions.
A four-year starter (59-16 record), Kelly finished with 177 goals and 161 assists, placing him in the state’s Top 10 all-time for total points (338). He’s the first player since former Boys’ Latin star Shack Stanwick (Johns Hopkins) to win VSN’s top player honor in back-to-back years.
A two-time All-MIAA A selection, Kelly will play in the Under Armour All-American game Saturday evening at Johns Hopkins. He will play for the University of North Carolina next spring.
2018 VSN BOYS’ LACROSSE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
A two-sport standout, Farrare was a dynamic game changer on the lacrosse field. The senior longstick is Varsity Sports Network’s Boys Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Year.
Farrare finished with 47 ground balls, two goals and four assists for McDonogh (13-5 overall), which captured the top-seed for the MIAA A Conference playoffs. The Eagles, which lost to Boys’ Latin School in the league semifinals, allowed only 108 goals on the season.
It all started with Farrare, whose blend of versatility (also played shortstick defensive midfielder), speed and instincts helped make McDonogh one of the nation’s top units.
“He’s been one of the most versatile and impactful players we’ve ever had,” said Eagles coach Andy Hilgartner. “From covering Pat Spencer [former Boys’ Latin and current Loyola University star] and holding him to an assist as a freshman to playing longstick against any of the great middies in the league to playing defensive middie – he’s been there to help our team in anyway.”
Farrare said the support from the coaching staff and teammates over the years helped him excel. Farrare and mates Rich Dion, Alexi Thomas, Finn Thorne and Jackson Bonitz allowed just 52 goals in MIAA A play this past spring.
“I decided to become a more versatile player,” said Farrare. “That goes to the work Travis [assistant coach Travis Holmes, coach Hilgy [Hilgartner] and Sellers [Andrew] put in with me and practicing shortstick against Jack Simmons was probably the most impossible thing I’ve ever done but it made me a better player.”
McDonogh went 62-15 with Farrare with three MIAA A final trips and the 2016 league championship. A receiver/defensive back/returner in football, Farrare helped the Eagles to a 27-15 mark. He was a two-time All-MIAA A pick on the gridiron.
A three-time All-MIAA A lacrosse selection, Farrare will play in the Under Armour All-American game Saturday at Johns Hopkins University. He will attend the University of Pennsylvania where he will play lacrosse and football.
2018 VSN BOYS’ LACROSSE COACH OF THE YEAR
Incontrera guided the Howard County school to its finest season. The sixth-year coach is Varsity Sports Network’s Boys’ Lacrosse Coach of the Year.
The Mustangs (17-2 overall) won their first state championship, claiming the Class 2A crown last month at Stevenson University. The Marriottsville school won its first Howard County championship in 2017.
With a solid returning nucleus, Incontrera presented his team with a daunting non-league schedule this spring.
“We returned a couple of guys on defense, but we knew our seniors at midfield and attack would do a lot to lead us,” said Incontrera. “We relied on them and they set the tone from last June to now.”
The Mustangs defeated eventual state 3A semifinalist Towson, South River, Centennial and MIAA A Conference newcomer John Carroll School, all of which were ranked in VSN’s Top 20 during the season. Those matches, in addition to losses to perennial Howard County strongholds Glenelg and Howard (both VSN Top 20 teams), put Marriotts Ridge on solid footing for the postseason.
In a double overtime thriller in the region semifinals, the Mustangs topped Glenelg, which won the Howard County title and has three state titles. Marriotts Ridge followed with victories over recent state champions Southern (won 2A/1A title in 2017), Kent Island (2015 and 2014 3A/2A champs) and Hereford, which owns a state-best nine titles.
“They loved being the underdog…the kids brought into every single scouting report, every single game plan,” said Incontrera. “It was a total team effort, from the coaches to the last guy on the bench. We played with an edge because we wanted to prove that we were the best.”
Incontrera, who was assisted by Gary Clipp, Mike Evans, Tommy Minard, Matt Richter and Ken Sensi, was defensive coordinator for three seasons before taking the head coaching reigns at Marriotts Ridge in 2013. A member of three Division III national championship teams at Salisbury University where he graduated in 2005, Incontrera was an assistant on Mount Hebron’s 2006 3A/2A state title squad.
A 2001 Mount Hebron graduate (won state 3A/2A title in 1999), Incontrera is 64-37 in six seasons at Marriotts Ridge.