Bruins, Saints face difficult road to repeats 1994 ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY BOYS LACROSSE PREVIEW

March 22, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

Coaches talk about how tough the region is. They mention two-time defending state 3A-4A champion Broadneck and Arundel as clear favorites. Then they tick off the names of Annapolis, North County, Severna Park and Chesapeake.

"There are maybe seven teams with a shot at the four playoff spots in the region," said Severna Park's Ed Ulrich."

Said Arundel's Clint Gosnell, "The southern region is so competitive, a team probably needs nine wins to make the playoffs. Eight may not be enough anymore."

The MSA A Conference, in which county private schools St. Mary's and Severn once competed, is defunct, but they will play the same demanding schedules laced with the same strong lacrosse schools.

"I tell my kids it's like the ACC in basketball," said Severn's Mike Burnett. "Any given week, any team can beat any other."

MA Said St. Mary's Jim Moorhead, "It'll be another wild season."

Annapolis Panthers Coach Dan Hart can cite several reasons why this year's team has the potential to be my best" in his six seasons at Annapolis.

History, for one, is on his side. In last year's regional semifinals, the Panthers lost by one goal to Broadneck, which went on to capture the state 3A-4A championship. In the past five years, Annapolis has gained the playoffs four times.

Another reason is that Hart has 22 returnees from the team that went 8-4. Although he thinks the Panthers "didn't play well in two scrimmages" this month, they held their own for a half against Gilman, "which may be the best high school team in the country."

Still another is Dave Winegrad, a senior who was all-county last year and voted the top defenseman in the county by the coaches. Joining him on defense is four-year starter Jack Copus. In the goal, sophomore Tobin Poole has the edge over junior Ryan Little.

Annapolis' attack figures to be strong. Junior Eric Morgan, first-team all-county with 26 goals and 24 assists, and senior Taylor Boone (20, 28), a three-year starter, will provide much of the firepower. Chris Harris, Byran Jefferson and Shawn McFadden are fighting for the third starting job.

Four of the top six midfielders are back, notably Scott Regina, Josh Morgan, Jon Brianas and Travis Scholtz. Geoff Mears, Ryan Sears, Brian Rentch and Brian McNew are competing for the remaining spots on the first two midfields.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers If all goes according to coach Dave Kraft's plan, Anthony Mattera will head for Delaware next fall as the leading scorer in Archbishop Spalding history.

"This is his fourth year on the varsity and he has a shot to leave as the all-time top scorer," said Kraft, pointing out that Mattera figures to lead the offense this season. "Attack should be our strength."

Kraft also expects to get production from Andy Scarborough, Steve Shaffer, Paul Menges, Jason Duffy and Steve Odenwald, a transfer from Severn.

Last year, in Kraft's second season as head coach, Spalding played well early, losing to chief rivals Friends by a goal and to Park by two, but then tailed off and was soundly beaten in the rematches. The Cavaliers finished 8-8.

"We lost 12 seniors, so this is a rebuilding year." Kraft said. "Still, we should be able to compete with most of our opponents."

Spalding received a major blow when last year's starting goalie, Steve Windsor, slipped on the ice during the winter and will miss the season with a broken leg. As a result, defensemen Keith Prandy and Charles Canter will play in front of a sophomore goalie, John Edwards.

Arundel Wildcats

Coach Clint Gosnell puts it simply: "We're on our way back."

In the 1980s, Arundel won three state championships and finished runner-up twice, but slipped as the 1990s dawned. The Wildcats finished 8-4 last season, missing the playoffs by one game.

"We're looking great," Gosnell said. "Talent runs in cycles. We didn't have the kids in the early 1990s that we did in the 1980s."

On a team of three seniors, 16 juniors and one sophomore, the key player is senior midfielder Chris Turner. A punter, kicker and all-county defensive end on the football team. Turner has 4.6-second speed for 40 yards and can shoot with either hand.

"We're hoping he doesn't get hurt," Gosnell said. "He's a football player and likes to hit people."

Supporting roles will be played by midfielders Mike Haertel, Ryan Farr and St. Mary's transfer Mark Jenkins, attackmen Josh Tidwell and Keith Sharp and goalie Tom Newberry, a backup last year who, in Gosnell's opinion, "will be outstanding."

"Eight-and-four used to be good enough to make the playoffs," Gosnell said. "But in this competitive southern region, you seem to need nine wins. There are a lot of teams that can come up and swat at you."

Broadneck Bruins A lot will be expected from captain and defenseman Brian Dobson and attackmen Bob Hanna and John Lengyel as Broadneck seeks its third straight state 3A-4A title.

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