CALVERT HALL travels to Centennial on Sept. 21. The No. 1 ranking in The Baltimore Sun Top 20 very well could be decided that day. The Eagles of Howard County gain the slimmest of edges over Calvert Hall in this new preseason poll, initially set up by the staffs of The Sun and The Evening Sun.
Howard, Oakland Mills, Atholton and Wilde Lake are expected to chase Centennial in the Howard County race, while Loyola should be Calvert Hall's main threat in Division II of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference. Archbishop Curley and Mount St. Joseph will be challenged by McDonogh in Division I.
With Patterson having moved up to the A Conference, Mount Carmel, Poly, Park and Lutheran appear strongest in the B Conference.
In Baltimore County, Perry Hall, Franklin and Dulaney will battle for Class 4A/3A division honors, while Overlea, Hereford, Loch Raven and Towson appear the teams to beat in the 2A/1A division.
In Anne Arundel County, Broadneck and Severna Park, respectively, are the favorites in the Friendship and Bay divisions. Glen Burnie and Old Mill will push Severna Park, while South River and possibly Arundel will chase Broadneck.
In Harford County, Fallston and C. Milton Wright should be the top contenders, followed by Joppatowne and Bel Air. Liberty looks like the team to beat in Carroll County.
Here's The Baltimore Sun Top 20 for 1991, with last year's records in parentheses.
@1 Centennial (11-2-1)
* Many coaches believe the Eagles are the team to beat this season, even if coach Bill Stara still has not settled on a starting the last six seasons.
2 Calvert Hall (15-3-1)
* The Cardinals are deep and strong and led by four-year starter J.J. Kremer, an All-Metro midfielder, and three-year starter Bryan Bugarin, an All-Metro striker (18 goals last season). Keeper Larry Rohleder, sweeper Mike Barger, a midfielder last fall, and back Adam Eagan are seniors with two seasons of experience. Junior Todd Perkins is back for his third season. Sophomore Jeremy Baker had 11 goals last season. Add to this equation an unbeaten junior varsity squad from 1990 and the grin just gets bigger on the face of coach Bill Karpovich. The Cardinals should rule the MSA A Conference again, a title they have held in five of the last six seasons.
3 Oakland Mills (13-2)
* The Scorpions win state titles in even years (1986, 1988, 1990), and they may be a year away again, but coach Don Shea will field a competitive team that boasts three Olympic Development under-19 standouts: forward Lopeka Trout, midfielder Sean Gorman and stopper back Jeff Mascott. He'll use sophomore Brent Mascott on the back line and work three freshmen into the lineup: Keith Murphy, Mike Jenkins and Kevin Gartner. Three-year letterman Henry Roh will run with Trout up front and Teddy Lawler adds experience at midfield. Look for the Scorpions to get better as the season unfolds and, if they get a break or two, steal a playoff berth. It won't be easy.
@4 Severna Park (10-3)
* The Falcons of coach Don Gregg return a solid nucleus of experienced seniors, including keeper Jason Zaks, sweeper Steve Neuberger, stopper Jamie Cornett, back Kevin Schultz, midfielder Michael Crawford, and striker Brian Peterson, who has had 30 goals and 12 assists in three seasons. Junior midfielders Mark Casper and Ryan Voegtlin both came up to the varsity late last season from the five-time junior varsity county champions. Senior Kenny Taylor was a part-time starter at midfield and senior John Denman was a reserve back last fall. Gregg will use Danish transfer Peter Joergensen, a junior, to run up front with Peterson.
5 Howard (11-1-1)
* Coach Rudy Storch welcomes back only two starters, defender Jarrod Moreland and midfielder Jason Yancey. He does have a solid freshman in Mike Bagrosky to bolster the defense along with senior keeper James Morrow and senior sweeper Mark Osterman. "We won't go down easily," says Storch. "We're young, but tough."
6 Broadneck (9-3-4)
* The Bruins graduated nine players off their state Class 4A finalist squad, but coach Kevin McMullen believes last year's reserves are ready to strut their stuff. Three starters return in sweeper Dave Apple, midfielder Jeff Vincent and striker Matt Weimer. Senior Mark Patrick will play stopper with John Hanna and Brendan Collins as wing backs. Senior Josh Jefferds will play striker, while Andy Ryan, Aaron Reinhart and one of four juniors will join Vincent on the midfield. Senior leadership is a plus, but a proven scorer must emerge to replace Rich Aftoora, the Bruins' all-time goal scorer. The Bruins get a slight edge over Severna Park for the preseason favorite role in the Anne Arundel County Class 4A race.
7 Atholton (12-3-1)