Three-sided race seen in volleyball

September 20, 1992|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

One week into the regular season and the outlook for boys high school volleyball looks like something old and something new.

The old figures to be the usual three-sided race for the county championship among defending champion Bel Air, John Carroll and C. Milton Wright.

The new is expected to be a much more competitive situation with the remaining teams taking turns beating each other.

Perhaps John Carroll coach Herb Simon, in an effort to put a rein on his enthusiasm, said it best when he declared, "Our problem is that even though we are better than last year, so is the competition."

Aberdeen, although having its largest squad in recent years with 13 players, is young and inexperienced. Second-year coach Tony Cole has to start from scratch after guiding last year's team of eight seniors to a 10-3 record.

The top players include seniors Desmond Miles and Alvin Holloway.

Bel Air returns three starters from last year's county championship team (10-1), brothers Steve and Ryan Kagay and Dennis Sulkowski. It opened its season with a victory over Aberdeen.

Coach Mike Ennis is having to work in some inexperienced players right away.

C. Milton Wright has four seniors among a crew of experienced players, and Coach Bill Lang is looking for improvement on last year's 7-6 record.

The holdovers include seniors Chris Etchison, Jason Colangelo, Pete Moranto and Andy Manzari; junior Keith Erekson, and sophomore Chris Rueckert.

Edgewood returns only senior Joe Chirico from last year's 7-5 team, and Coach Roy Norris will start over with, among others, Scott Vanderneade, a junior with no experience, and freshmen Eric Briggs and Keith Rinker.

Fallston, with five returning players, could be the sleeper in the league. Chris Scholz, who formerly coached at Edgewood, is the new head coach, and he is expects to do as well as last year's 8-6 team.

The holdovers are junior Doug Mackey and sophomores Tim Fisher, Jared Kelly, Kernan Kelly and Max Reinholdt. The new group includes seniors Eric Grepps and Dave Burns

Harford Technical has five returnees -- seniors Jason Snyder and Paul Williams (injured), and juniors Tony Venker and brothers Chris and Pat Funk -- and 10 freshmen and sophomores.

Among the new players are Justin Codd and Adam Stallings, who completed Coach Bill Hurd's starting lineup in the opening loss at C. Milton Wright.

John Carroll is consistently among the top teams in the county -- none of seventh-year coach Herb Simon's teams has lost more than two games in a season.

The Patriots rate as the preseason choice, not only on the basis of the holdovers from last season's 7-2 entry, but a good group of freshmen who are expected to provide depth.

The strength should come from seniors Rich Abercrombie, Phillip Kim and John Schab, and juniors Chris Babiak and Jeff Prior.

Joppatowne was 4-9 last year,but first-year coach Bill McQuiston (moved over from Harford Technical) expects to improve on that with 6-foot-4 senior Conroy Venzen and classmates Khary Sydnor and Sam Almengon, plus such new players as senior Mark Beck and Bill Lasley, juniors Greg Bily and Oswain Venzen, and sophomore Eric King.

North Harford, featuring five seniors, also is geared for improvement after going 2-10 a year ago.

Coach Janet Staab sees Ben Knepley, David Noppenberger, Tom McCarthy, Bob Reimer and Bryan Milano getting help from an enthusiastic group that includes sophomore Justin Lipira and freshmen Steve Farley, Steve Shew and David McCarthy.

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