1993 high school boys lacrosse preview

March 24, 1993

Glen Burnie

Jeff Kendall knew what he was getting into when he took the job as head varsity boys lacrosse coach at Glen Burnie.

The Severna Park and Johns Hopkins alumnus was well-aware of the Gophers' 0-12 record last season. He was even aware of Glen Burnie's 27-game losing streak and the fact that the Gophers have won only 10 boys lacrosse games in the past decade.

He has heard all of the unflattering statistics; now, he's getting a firsthand look at why the Gophers are struggling.

"Sometimes when I'm watching them at practice, I feel like I'm at a clinic game with 20 guys piling on after the ball like a pack of little ants," said Kendall, who witnessed similar scenes when initiating a boys lacrosse program at Caravel Academy in Bear, Del., in 1989. "I keep telling them to spread out because they're not moving to the ball, setting picks or looking for backdoor cutters. It's helter-skelter.

"We have enough talent on this team to be vying for a county championship if they would just go to the position where they need to be. If I could be out of the field with them putting them into position, we'd be great."

But that's illegal and "great" is not a word often muttered in the same sentence with Glen Burnie boys lacrosse. However, Kendall maintains his enthusiasm and optimism in raising Glen Burnie boys lacrosse to a new level.

To do so, Kendall will have to get more point production from his midfield unit. Last season, Glen Burnie's midfielders combined for only nine goals and eight assists, and Kendall is hoping North County transfer Mark Green, junior Jack Wildt and freshmen John Riley and Brendan Spilker can take some of the scoring pressure off of the attack.

The least of Kendall's worries is Glen Burnie's defense, which will be anchored by senior goalkeeper Phil Lawall. Keeping some of the pressure off Lawall are returning senior defenseman Jeff Bartlett and Joe Tostinoski and converted midfielder Jason Chapman.

The Gophers' attack is thin with seniors Jason Meredith (15 goals, five assists), Charleton Allen (20, 8) and Brian Ballard (6, 6) returning.

Meade

Now that Meade's boys lacrosse team has overcome the psychological battle with county opponents, fourth-year coach Lou Norbeck thinks his Mustangs are ready for the physical challenge that lies ahead.

"It's a mind set," Norbeck said. "It's taken me three years to get them over the mind set that Annapolis, Severna Park and Broadneck are first and Arundel and Meade are next. There seems to be a pecking order in the county, but I think the kids are finally getting away from that.

"When I first started here, the kids used to ask me when we played [now defunct] Brooklyn Park; now, they want to know when we're playing the tougher teams. I think they're finally starting to realize how good they are and how good they can be when they work hard."

Under the direction of Norbeck, the Mustangs have improved their record each year. Last season, Meade finished 8-6, but with the departure of Carlos Accaron, Mike Hertz and Nate Carter went more than 80 goals and 40 assists.

A loss like that would cause many coaches to panic, but Norbeck has been in the position before and the Mustangs have managed to stay competitive in a county that Norbeck believes to be second to "one."

"We play in the second-toughest conference in the country behind the MSA A Conference," said Norbeck. "There's no breather for us. Just looking at our schedule, we play eight schools that were invited to the playoffs last season.

"We lost a lot [to graduation] but we have a lot of youthful enthusiasm. We have to compensate for our lack of experience with more hustle and I've been real pleased thus far."

Two players Norbeck welcomed back with open arms are senior midfielder Mike Ogden and senior attackman Matt Rayman. Odgen scored 31 goals and 23 assists last season, and Rayman had 16 goals and 16 assists.

Accompanying Ogden in the midfield are seniors Mike Walker, Sean Harmon, Pat Vaughan, Kevin Dean, Jonathan Geeson and David Conrad and junior Travis Burrell. Rayman will be joined at attack by senior Rusty Anastasi, junior Will Shin and sophomore D. J. Knott.

"D. J. has done a great job stepping in for Hertz and Rusty Anastasi has been a pleasant surprise," said Norbeck. "Our midfield is young but they play very well together."

Meade's defense will be led by seniors Brent Anderson (goalie) and Lewis Barkley and junior Chad Morris.

North County

On paper, North County appears a lock to return to the state playoffs, but as expected, veteran Knights coach Paul Shea doesn't see it that way.

"Our county is so evenly matched, you could take a blanket and throw it over six or seven teams and just let them punch it out," said Shea, whose Knights went 11-6 last year and made it to the state semifinals where they lost to eventual Class 4A state champion Broadneck, 6-5.

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