Coach: Tom Faska, fifth year
Assistant coaches: Randy Hill, Mike Sanino, Todd Pannett
Last year's record: 13-9 overall, 9-3 in the Central Maryland Conference
Top returnees: Seniors -- guards Charlie Thomas and Richard Snowden, forward Kelly Athey, center Mike Kelly
Top newcomers: Senior -- guard/forward Ellis Grey, forward Greg Stup; junior -- guard/forward Dwight Leeks; sophomore -- guard/forward B. J. Gibson
Coaches' comments: "I'm pleased with the team's intensity. They are working hard in practice and ahead of schedule. We have four starters coming back and should go nine or 10 deep into the bench."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: The Cadets have four starters coming back from last year's 13-9 squad, including their senior guard tandem of Charlie Thomas and Richard Snowden. Not too many teams in the conference can boast that. They also have a solid group of newcomers to back them up, and Coach Sneska will have no problem going to his bench. This will enable them to run a full-court press to cause havoc upon opposing guards. Returning seniors Kelly Athey and Mike Kelly will provide much of the muscle up front. Sneska says this team is ahead of schedule, which is bad news for other CMC teams. The Cadets have no one player that can be keyed on. With quickness in the backcourt and strength up front, this team appears to have all the ingredients to take charge in the CMC.
Coach: Scott Kohr, third year
Assistant coaches: Mike Quealy, Ed DeVincent
Last year's record: 3-19overall and 1-11 in the Central Maryland Conference
Top returnees: Seniors -- forwards Matt Alexander and Kevin Grubb, guards Gray Johnson and Sean Custis, center Pat Gagen
Top newcomers: Seniors -- center Tim Ahearn; juniors -- forwards Jason Connors, Eric Priddy and Mike Davidson, guards Ross Yastrzemski and Mike McGinnis
Coaches' comments: "We've got a lot of experienced ball players, but we've gota lot of juniors who will have to step in and contribute. We've never been real tall, but they're a feisty bunch."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: Coach Kohr has a strong nucleus of experienced seniorsreturning from last year's 3-19 team. He also is especially high on newcomers Yastrzemski and Davidson. The Lions often were out-rebounded due to their lack of size. Center Pat Gagen will be relied upon to clear the boards. Turnovers and poor shooting were two other weaknesses with last year's squad, but veteran guards Johnson and Custis willhelp improve those problems. Much of their season will depend on howmuch they improve in these areas, and if the bench can come in and contribute. A year's experience should bring a few more wins to Liberty this season.
Coach: Tim Leber, first year
Assistant coaches: Tom Dodge, Arnie McGaha
Last year's record: 10-12 overall, 6-6 in the Central Maryland Conference
Top returnees: Seniors -- forwards Chris Sargent and Charlie Snyder, guards Ron Hibbard, Hal Templeton and Rodney Willis
Top newcomers: Senior -- guardEd Blythe; juniors -- guards David Jorgensen, Mike Weber and John Seymour, forwards Andrew Pennington, Ryan Webb, Adam Shively, Chet Mitchell and Bret Thompson
Coaches' comments: "My first year is a learning process for everyone. I'm pleased so far with the hard work and the kids are picking up what we're teaching them quickly. It's a great group of kids."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: The Lancers have a nice mix of experienced veterans and enthusiastic newcomers in Coach Leber's first year. The players are still learning Leber's system which may take time. Early part of the schedule is important. A slow start would not be a major surprise, the team must remain patient. The Lancers have a number of returning seniors led by guard Ron Hibbard and forward Chris Sargent. They also have a handful of juniors hungry for playing time. Don't expect miracles from this team right awaybut one thing is for sure -- Leber will have them playing hard. Improvement should come as the season progresses but this team looks to be a year away from serious contention in the CMC.
NORTH CARROLL PANTHERS
Coach: Pete Litchka, 12th year
Assistant coaches: Troy Warehime, Mark Janney, Ed Powelson
Last year's record: 6-16 overall, 1-11 in the Central Maryland Conference
Top returnees: Seniors -- guards Rich Cutair, Jason Glover, Benny Jackson, Jim Johnson, George Wunder and Wade Zufall (5-10), forwards Adam Franklin, Andy Roach, Eric Nowicki and Dave Polischeck
Top newcomers: Senior -- guard, Tim Long; juniors -- forward Keith Mayle, guards Steve Hanson and Mike Roberts
Coaches' comments: "I think we got better (last year), sometimes we were just overmatched. The experience is going to be the definite advantage. I think our shooting has gotten a little better. I just think that the kids are a year older and a year better. We'll justbe playing a lot of people."