The Herald News All-Area awards are out today and Lakeland junior pitcher John Slootmaker was named Pitcher of the Year while DePaul shortstop Bryan Gambuzza was selected Player of the Year. Slootmaker went 7-2 and helped lead the Lancers to their second straight Passaic County championship; he and fellow hurler Brad Smith are hoping for a threepeat in 2007. Gambuzza batted .552 with a Passaic-County best 58 hits, more than two a game, and helped the Spartans earn the No. 1 seed in the Passaic County Tournament.
St. Mary's was named Team of the Year after reaching the Non-Public Group B state championship game for the first time since 2003.
And Pequannock's Bill Arata was selected Coach of the Year for guiding the Golden Panthers to their second consecutive Morris County crown despite injuries to several key players, including Villanova-bound OF Justin Bencsko.