Only days remain in the first decade of the new century, but before the door closes MDVarsity.com begins its look back on some of the players, performances, teams and programs that made these past 10 years great.
Kicking off the walk down memory lane is a look at some of the top performances of the decade. Mike Loveday and Sheldon Shealer make their pick as to who had the best rushing, passing and receiving performance game. Also included are the other statistical leaders from 2000 to 2009.
After taking a few days to honor the official All-State teams on Dec. 22 and 23, MDVarsity.com will begin its countdown with a look at an All-Decade All-State Team followed by top teams of the decade and All-Decade programs.
For a complete listing of upcoming items, you can check out the Winter Calendar here.
Decade's Best: 414 yards, six touchdowns, Josh Furman, Old Mill vs. Arundel, Nov. 20, 2009.
Talk about saving the best for last. The most impressive rushing performance of the last 10 years came with only three weeks left in the final football season of the decade.
What makes Furman's performance the best is two-fold. The 414 yards is the highest rushing total of any player this decade and places third all-time.
Secondly, the game in which it occurred was the Class 4A East region final against Arundel - a 58-55 win that propelled Old Mill to the Class 4A state championship. Furman rushed for six touchdowns in the win, averaging 9.85 yards per carry. Furman rushed for a two-yard touchdown and converted the two-point conversion to tie the game at 48 and send it into overtime.
Best of the decade's rest:
391, Marcus Coker, DeMatha vs. Gilman, 2009
384, Jeff Smiley, James M. Bennett vs. Easton, Sept. 22, 2000
383, David Dudley, Joppatowne vs. Havre de Grace, Sept. 16, 2005
376, Jeremy Sellers, Westmar vs. Beall, Nov. 10, 2000
373, Greg Goodwin, Huntingtown vs. Great Mills, 2009
353, Jason Jackson, Oxon Hill vs. H.D. Woodson (D.C.), Sept. 9, 2000
351, David Hammond, St. James vs. Bishop Walsh, 2003
342, Brashaad Mayweather, Old Mill, 2002
341, Ryan Callahan, Old Mill vs. Arundel, Oct. 23, 2004
340, Nathan Ayers, Dunbar vs. Forestville, 2009 (region semifinals)
Decade's Best: 515 yards, Keith Ricca, St. John's-PH vs. Riverdale Baptist, 2003.
Picking the best passing performance of the decade proved to be difficult in what appeared to be the decade of the quarterback. North County's Mike Evans threw for 404 yards in 1996 - a record that stood for five years until Nick Tanis broke it in 2001. Since Tannis the record has been broken nine more times.
But Ricca's performance gets the nod because not only is it the No. 1 stat showing, but also that game capped his career and gave him 14 state records that evening, covering game, season and career marks.
Ricca finished his career with 9,090 yards and 113 touchdowns, both of which are still state records. Ricca set the records, at the time, for most passing yards in a season (3,591), most passes attempted in a season (431), most passes completed in a career (628) and most touchdown passes in a season (45), among others.
The passing yards and touchdown records have since been broken by Billy Cosh, but Ricca's career numbers places him among the nation's all-time Top 50 in three categories: career yards, passes and touchdowns.
Best of the decade's rest:
508, Mike Russ, St. James vs. Randolph-Macon Academy (Va.), Sept. 7, 2008
475, Billy Cosh, Arundel vs. Linganore, 2008 (state semifinal)
472, Chris Hendershot, Bishop Walsh vs. St. James, 2003
452, Mike Mooney, Thomas Wootton vs. Richard Montgomery, Oct. 16, 2008
448, Justin Sottilaire, Oakland Mills vs. Marriotts Ridge, 2007
443, Billy Cosh, Arundel vs. Old Mill, Nov. 20, 2009 (region final)
430, Billy Largent, North County vs. Arundel, Oct. 19, 2001
414, Keith Ricca, St. John's-PH vs. John Carroll, 2003
408, Keith Ricca, St. John's-PH vs. Fairfield (Pa.), 2003
408, Nick Tanis, Mount St. Joseph vs. Stuebenville (Ohio), Aug. 24, 2001
Decade's Best: 20 receptions, 293 yards, three touchdowns, Ronnie Harris, Arundel vs. Old Mill, Nov. 20, 2009.
The best receiving performance of the decade is unique in that it is the only top performance we chose that occurred in a loss.
But being on the wrong side of the win column is not enough to diminish what Harris accomplished. Harris' had more yards than any other receiver in Maryland since 2000 and is second all-time for most yards in a game. His 20 receptions in one game places Harris second all-time in that category as well.
All three of Harris' touchdowns came in the second half of the region final game and brought Arundel back from down 34-20 to up 41-40 with 8:34 left in the game in a game Arundel eventually lost 58-55 in overtime. Harris had touchdown catches of 2, 25 and 32 yards.
Much like Ricca, Harris' performance capped a stellar career in which the senior set several season and career records.
Harris set the single-season record for most receptions in a season with 114 and the career mark of 190. He set the record for most receiving touchdowns in a season with 28. He is second on the list for career receiving touchdowns (48) and most receiving yards in a season (1,655).
Best of the decade's rest:
289, Jacob Poss, Poolesville vs. Bethesda-CC, Oct. 21, 2000
256, Tim Jennings, St. Vincent Pallotti vs. St. John's-PH, 2003
235, Max Morris, St. John's-PH vs. John Carroll, 2003
234, Chris Thompson, Frederick vs. Middletown, Oct. 13, 2006
219, Charles Fitchett, Snow Hill vs. Easton, 2003