Unbeaten and top-ranked Centennial peaking and primed for another title run

November 02, 1992|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

If its past two games -- impressive victories over Glenelg and Atholton -- are any indication, county champion Centennial is peaking for the start of the playoffs today.

The defending state champion and top-seeded Eagles (10-0-2) host fourth-seeded Thomas Johnson (7-4-1) in a Class 3A, Region II semifinal. Centennial has a 28-game unbeaten streak on the line.

"We're playing really well," Eagles coach Bill Stara said. "Now the trick is to keep it going."

In the 4-1 victory over Glenelg on Friday, sweeper Werner Krueger led a strong defensive effort. Fullbacks John Campbell, Warren Grace and Allen Alejandro also did their jobs well.

The Eagles' midfield of Chris Arcella, Morgan Kershner, Mike Resau and Doug Ulman ripped apart Glenelg's short-passing attack before it could create many dangerous situations.

Centennial was bigger and stronger than Glenelg, and intimidated the Gladiators with a lot of bumping, pushing and tackling.

Freshman striker Brian West scored twice and played his best game of the year. "He [West] is going to be a real good one," Stara said.

Glenelg coach John Bouman is still high on his team, the first Glenelg squad to make the playoffs or challenge for the county title.

"This is our first big season at Glenelg, and a developing program sometimes takes two steps forward and one back," Bouman said. "This was one big step back. We have only ourselves to blame for this loss."

Glenelg (9-2-1) takes on North Hagerstown (11-1) Wednesday at home in a Class 2A, Region I semifinal.

Oakland Mills travels to Towson on Wednesday for a Class 2A, Region II semifinal. The Scorpions beat the Generals (9-2) earlier this season, 2-0.

Oakland Mills also appears to be peaking and has won a state title every even-numbered year since coach Don Shea took over in 1986.

Goalkeeper Jason Kranefeld has surprised with his outstanding season, and defenders Jay Holmes, Brent Mascott and Andre Jones also have shined.

Shea rested eight starters Friday, but Oakland Mills still sneaked past Hammond, 1-0.

If Centennial wins today, it most likely will play a rematch against Atholton (8-3-1) for the Class 3A, Region III championship.

Atholton travels to Bladensburg (10-2) on Wednesday for its Region III, Class 3A semifinal.

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