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Stokley earned this one

April 15, 2002|BY DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

Extra effort awards were made for guys like Brandon Stokley - guys who have to go the extra mile just to earn their spots on sports' brightest stages.

Stokley's spot is as a wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens - a spot that has taken him places he never thought he'd see and given him opportunities beyond those he considered possible.

"It's a dream, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd play in the Super Bowl, catch a touchdown in the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl," Stokley said during social hour of the 39th annual Ravens Roost No. 7 Double EE Awards Banquet and Dance on Saturday at Hagerstown Elks Lodge No. 378.

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Stokley, an undersized receiver out of small-school Southwestern Louisiana, was drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round in 1999.

He has had to work for every step he's taken over the last three seasons, not just to win individual awards, but to be part of something greater with the Ravens.

"(Extra effort) describes me," Stokley said. "That's what I try to emulate, is a guy who does everything on the football field I can to win."

From a rookie season featuring one catch in 1999, to a whirlwind 2000 season highlighted by the touchdown catch against Jason Sehorn and the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, to an up-and-down 2001 campaign during which he started the first two games before being bothered by a knee injury for much of the rest of the season, Stokley has seen a lot more than your average three-year NFL veteran.

Now, with several offensive starters out of Baltimore, including receivers Qadry Ismail and Jermaine Lewis, Stokley likely will have another chance to step into a starter's role and claim it as his own.

"I'm relishing the opportunity," Stokley said. "The main thing for me is to stay healthy, so I can do what I can to help the team on the field."

While many consider 2002 a possible rebuilding year for the Ravens, Stokley sees it differently.

"I think we've got some good young talent, and you never know what the season's going to bring," he said. "If you can get to the playoffs, anything can happen. Look at the Patriots and what they did. Getting to the playoffs is our goal."

n South Hagerstown senior Nick Maas was the recipient of the Gus Baker Memorial Scholarship.

"I didn't expect to win whatsoever," said Maas, one of 35 players honored for being named to the All-Washington County football first team last season. "I was very surprised. I didn't expect to be called up (to the podium). It was great to hear my name called out."

Maas made All-County on offense and defense last season as a split end and defensive back, and was a Herald-Mail All-Area first team defensive selection. He was named to the All-Monocacy Valley Athletic League first team on offense and defense.

Maas will play for Shepherd College starting this fall, and says he's not expecting big things right away.

"My goal is just to make something on special teams," Maas said. "My goal is not to start right away. I know I'm going to have to work my butt off."

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