Dundalk Eagle High School Athletes of the Season: Fall 2012
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 14:09

Luah Talo, Outstanding Male Athlete & Brittani LaFollette, Outstanding Female Athlete.


Luah Talo, DHS football

Explosive runner led Owls in total yards gained

by Bill Gates

    Luah Talo didn’t end up in the end zone every time he carried the ball for the Dundalk football team.
    It only seemed that way.
    Talo, The Eagle’s Male Athlete of the Season for Fall 2012, only touched the ball a relative handful of times each game for the Owls.
    Yet the senior led Dundalk in scoring, in rushing yards, receiving yards and interceptions.
    Against Patapsco, for example, Talo had three rushes for 162 yards.
    He rushed for a touchdown in that game and caught a touchdown pass (one play after he was tackled at the two-yard line on a 66-yard run).
    Against Sparrows Point, Talo rushed five times for 87 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown run on the last play of the first half.
    “I work out a lot,” Talo said. “I work on my legs, do a lot of squats, to give me the explosiveness to bust long runs.”
    Talo had to make the most of his opportunities on offense because he was also a key member of the Dundalk defense.
    Playing outside linebacker, Talo finished second in the team with 50 tackles and intercepted a team-high seven passes.
    He returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns.
    “Luah is an unselfish football player who put his team in front of his personal goals,” Dundalk coach Sean Sandora said. “Defensively he was a cornerstone at the outside linebacker position.
    “He is the definition of a complete football player and could play any position on the field.”
    The Owls allowed an average of 12 points a game in 12 games, with two shutouts and three other games in which they allowed one score.
    Only two teams scored more than 20 points on Dundalk: Delaware power Delmar (30) and New Town (22), which is playing the Class 1A state championship game this week.
    “I liked playing both offense and defense,” Talo said. “As long as they put me in a position where our team can win the game, that’s all that matters.”
    “Without Luah, we would have lost a few more games,” Sandora said.
    Talo finished with 708 yards rushing on 73 carries (9.7 yards per carry), had 304 yards receiving and scored 15 touchdowns on offense.
    (And he missed a game, sitting out the win over Western Tech after tweaking an ankle during the loss to New Town).
    Dundalk went 8-2 during the regular season and won the first state playoff game in school history with a 21-13 win over Owings Mills.
    Talo was named first-team All-Division and first-team All-Baltimore County as a linebacker and “athlete.”
    A varsity starter since his sophomore year, he opened this season by rushing for 104 yards on three carries against Towson.
    The next week, he rushed for 115 yards on 15 carries and scored three touchdowns against Delmar in a 30-29 loss.
    Talo had an 89-yard touchdown reception against Chesapeake, and had a rushing touchdown and returned an interception for a touchdown in a 21-12 win over Randallstown.
    He is considering Richmond University and Towson University for college, and has also applied to the University of Virginia.
    Also receiving consideration for Male Athlete of the Season were Dundalk soccer player Shawn Geary and Sparrows Point soccer player Jordan Carter.


Brittani LaFollette, SPHS field hockey

Led Pointers in scoring, playing on broken toe

by Bill Gates

    Brittani LaFollette has been waiting in the wings for some time. Now, it’s her turn in the spotlight.
    For three years in a row, LaFollette was the player “also receiving consideration ...” for The Eagle’s Fall Female Athlete of the Season.
    There’s no consideration this year. LaFollette is The Eagle’s Female Athlete of the Season for fall, 2012.
    “I only remembered being considered during my freshman season,” LaFollette said. “I never really thought about it.”
    And all it took was playing all season on a broken toe. Well, that, and scoring 31 goals while dishing out 21 assists for the regional champion Pointers.
    LaFollette broke the big toe on her left foot while playing in a college showcase game last summer, when an opposing player drove the ball into LaFollette’s foot.
    “It hurt pretty bad, but I finished the game,” she said.
    A trainer at first thought it was turf toe, as did her doctor.
    But x-rays eventually showed a fracture at the joint, where it would be more difficult for it to heal.
    LaFollette ruled out any kind of surgery or cast.
    “I told the doctor, ‘I am not going to miss my senior year,’” she said. “I just had to play with pain.”
    LaFollette initially wore a “little boot” on her foot to keep the toe immobile, but the toe was still bending, so she had to switch to a bigger boot to stop all movement.
    For games, however, she had to play without the boot.
    “It had an impact on my play, at first,” LaFollette said. “I had to get used to the pain.
    “But, once the adrenaline got going, I didn’t really feel any pain until the game was over. My parents would ask me how it felt after the game, and I would say ‘I don’t really feel it yet, but we’re going to be icing it tonight.”
    LaFollette’s doctor told her last week that surgery was no longer necessary.
    The bone is slowly growing back into place — growing crooked, “but it won’t really hurt me in the future,” LaFollette said.
    She had a hand in 58 percent of the scoring for a Sparrows Point squad that steamrolled its way to the first field hockey regional championship in school history.
    LaFollette finished her career with 79 goals and 44 assists and helped Sparrows Point go 43-9-1 over her four years.
    The Pointers were 11-1 and outscored their opponents 80-5 during the regular season, losing 3-0 to eventual Baltimore County champion Hereford.
    Sparrows Point beat playoff nemesis Loch Raven 2-0 in the regional semifinals before whipping Carver A&T 6-1 for the regional title.
    The Pointers’ run ended with a 2-0 loss to Crisfield in the state semifinals.
    “We were building toward this season,” LaFollette said. “We grew, progressed on defense and became a powerhouse.”
    LaFollette was named to first-team All-Division and All-Baltimore County, and scored a goal in the Senior All-Star Game against Carroll County.
    She’s considering playing field hockey and pursuing environmental science or pre-veterinary studies at three colleges: Susquehanna, Juniata and Delaware Valley.
    Also considered for Female Athlete of the Season were Sparrows Point volleyball player Emily Underwood and soccer player Lauren Spivey.