All eyes are on Perry Hall this spring as the Gators make a run for a Class 3A-4A state championship.
Bill Dunkerton's squad, which made great strides last season before bowing to eventual state champion Broadneck, will be tough to contain, but that won't stop Baltimore County perennial power Dulaney from trying. The Lions will be looking for revenge after losing to Perry Hall twice last year, including a season-ending loss in the region finals.
The county 1A-2A League is wide open and a talented Catonsville squad appears in the right place at the right time. Towson is the two-time defending state champion, but the Generals were hit hard by graduation and are vulnerable.
"If any of these county schools want to get that big win over Towson, this might be the year to do it," said Towson coach Randy Dase.
County private school powers Loyola and St. Paul's fell short in their bids for last season's final Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference crown, but both have their sights set on the new Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title.
Calvert Hall Cardinals 1993 record: 6-8. Coach: Mike Thomas.
Top players: Joe Perriello, Sr., D; Ryan Lachowicz, Jr., M; Chris Nohe, Sr., M.
Outlook: The Cardinals are inexperienced, losing all their starting attack and seven of nine midfielders. Their top returning scorer (Lachowicz) had eight goals last season. Nohe, who played long-stick midfield last year, will go to a short stick to help the offense. The goalie duites will be split again this year between two juniors (Strider Jackson and Mickey Jarboe).
Catonsville Comets 1993 record: 8-4. Coach: Warren Como.
Top players: Jeremy Henn, Sr., M; Aaron Lovionger, Sr., M; Kirk Weiskoff, Sr., M; Eric McDade, Sr., M; Andrew Davis, Jr., M; Tom Carey, Sr., A; Chris Lindh, Jr., A; Mark Stone, Sr., D; John Rehmert, Sr., G.
Outlook: The Comets, who made it to the region finals last season before losing to North County, have a lot of players back, but with a new coach, they will have to adjust to a new system, which could take time. "If they can adjust to my system and work together, we should have a successful season," said Como. "We're fairly balanced and we have depth."
Chesapeake-BC Bayhawks 1993 record: 0-9. Coach: Trey Gelston.
Top players: Jason Perkins, Jr. A; Chip Slumski, Sr., D; Eli Montalvo, Sr., G; Nat Thornton, Jr., M.
Outlook: The Bayhawks, who finished 0-9 last year in their first season competing on the varsity level, had a good turnout (28 players) but still lack any real experience. "We're hoping to be more competitive than last year," said Gelston. "We're still young and inexperienced, but we're hoping to be more competitive and hopefully win four or five games."
Dulaney Lions 1993 record: 10-3. Coach: Gary Schrieber.
Top players: Dan Sherwood, Sr., A; Bill Siciliano, Sr., M; Matt Steil, Sr., A, Chris Karppala, Sr., M; Aaron DeVos, Sr., D; Scott Makowske, Sr., G; Jeff Brooks, Soph., G.
Outlook: The Lions, who lost to Perry Hall in the first round of the playoffs last season, lost two catalysts in attackman Tim Speno (Duke) and defenseman Emmerich Yoder (Harvard), but Schrieber is optimistic and believes his team will be stronger this season. "We have a very strong attack this year but I'm optimistic because we're playing like such a team," said Schrieber.
Dundalk Owls 1993 record: 4-7. Coach: Brian Tallon.
Top players: John Spallone, Sr., G; Lance Lader, Sr., D; Jerry Alcira, Sr., M; Travis Williams, Fr., M.
Outlook: The Owls return 11 players from last year's 4-7 squad, but only one of those players carried a long stick so their defense is suspect. "Our strength will be at midfield," said Tallon. "We should have at least two strong midfields I can run either way. Our weakness is definitely our defense. Spallone will have to step up."
* Eastern Tech Mavericks 1993 record: 6-5. Coach: Chad Roeder.
Top players: Shane Goldstraw, Sr., M; Rodney Huddler, Jr., M; Mark Fischer, Sr., A; Jason Kerner, Sr., D; Rick Ledford, Sr., D; Joe Marchiano, Sr., G.
Outlook: The Mavericks appear to lack the scoring power needed to survive in a region that includes Perry Hall, Dulaney and Franklin. "We're rebuilding our offense this year," said Roeder, who lost last year's leading scorer Mike Mrok to graduation. "I think we'll be more of a defense-oriented team. The last couple of years we've built the team around the attack, but we're a little different this year."
Franklin Indians 1993 record: 9-4. Coach: Earl Deickman.
Top players: Kevin Stierhoff, Sr., G; Noah Egorian, Sr., D; Chad McClure, Sr., M; Dan Bell, Sr., M; Jason Harris, Sr., A.
Outlook: The Indians, who bowed to Catonsville in the first round of the regions last season, will be hard-pressed to return to the region playoffs after losing 12 seniors. "We're pretty green and this is an untested team," said Deickman. "The guys we have back saw limited action last year so it's going to be tough to improve on last year's record."
Hereford Bulls 1993 record: 9-4. Coach: Whit Morrill.