Team-by-team Capsules

September 09, 1994|By Pat O'Malley

CLASS 4A LEAGUE

Annapolis Panthers

Coach: Roy Brown, sixth season.

1993 record: 7-3.

Top players: Orlando Downs, Sr., QB-S-P; Teshawn Cooper, Sr., RB-DB; Beau Watkins, Sr., C; Bernard Turner, Sr., T-DT; Reggie Snowden, Sr., SE; Danny Edwards, Sr., G-LB; Oscar Ross, Sr., G-LB; Roland Fowlkes, Sr., LB-PK; Geoff Mears, Sr., RB; Chris Brianas, Sr., RB.

Outlook: Experience is lacking, but the Panthers' overall team speed, quickness and strength in the trenches and a bevy of shifty running backs is not. Coach Brown (36-17, five years) lost 20 seniors, each of whom had three years of varsity experience, including All-Metro and All-County running back Kenny Boyd (county-leading 1,365 yards and 17 touchdowns), but is encouraged with the overall make-up of this year's squad. The offensive line has Brown particularly excited because Annapolis loves to keep it on the ground. "Our linemen are pretty quick and potentially could be better than last year's with a little seasoning," Brown said. Two-time All-County center Watkins (6 feet 3, 210 pounds) and second-team All-County guard Turner (5-11, 245) who has moved to a two-way tackle spot, are three-year starters expected to anchor the line and open gaping holes for Cooper (5-5, 150), Downs (5-10, 160), Mears (5-9, 160), Brianas (5-11, 165) and junior Marty Sellers (5-8, 160). Fowlkes (6-1, 185), who will also be the place-kicker, will lead a defensive unit with no returning starters.

Arundel Wildcats

Coach: Bill Zucco, third season.

1993 record: 6-4.

Top players: Casey Trout, Sr., RB-S-P; Mike Haertel, Sr., FB-LB; Vince Faunteroy, Sr., RB-LB; Doug Downes, Sr., G; Chris Eakins, T-DT; Andy Pelfrey, Sr., C-LB; Eric Lundborg, Sr., SE; Russ Allen, Sr., DB; Charley Kight, Jr., T-DT; John Norsworthy, Jr., LB-FB.

Outlook: Coming off its first winning season since 1985, including upset victories over perennial powers North County and Severna Park, Arundel is braced for contender status. The Wildcats have a host of returnees with varsity experience, and Zucco (9-11) is banking on a fast start. "I really think we are headed in the right direction with more numbers and the largest turnout [108] since I've been head coach," Zucco said. "The quarterback position is a key." Arundel lost two-year starter Pat Cilento to a transfer (Sherwood, Montgomery County) and is counting on junior Pat Clyburn (6-3, 180) and sophomore Eric Lipton (6-1, 170) to step up. Trout (6-1, 180), a superb athlete, Haertel (5-10, 180) and Pelfrey (6-2, 200) are key seniors expected to lead what should be a typical punishing Wildcat defense. Zucco is also excited about his offensive and defensive lines, which feature three athletes at 220 pounds. "We will hit you and play pretty good defense, and if our offense jells early, we could be right there," Zucco said.

Chesapeake Cougars

Coach: Tom Kraning, seventh season.

1993 record: 4-6.

Top players: Matt Michalowicz, Sr., QB; Chris Timmons, Sr., G; Tom Marshall, Sr., G; Neal Huber, Sr., T; Chris Oberdalhoff, Sr., T; Tom Detrich, Sr., C; Sean Borgert, Sr., NG; Nick Polling, Sr., DT; Derrick Shreve, Sr., DT; John Brooks, Sr., S.

Outlook: Kraning (16-44) is bubbling with anticipation not only because of a wealth of size, experience and intelligence (18 players with a 3.25 GPA or better), but also because "it's by far the best group I've had in terms of talent, work, attitude wise and otherwise." With perhaps the most depth and size (average nearly 230 pounds on both sides of the ball) in school history, Chesapeake will operate a near two-platoon system. The Cougars showed vast improvement last fall, and most of the team is back with additions from a turnout of 120 players promising. Michalowicz (6-0, 175), who passed for 964 yards as a junior, will guide a wing-T offense featuring a few wrinkles. The quarterback, who covers the 40 in 4.6 seconds, had his throwing arm analyzed by a computer, and Kraning said he "has changed his delivery and is tremendously improved." The defensive line rivals the size of most major colleges with hulking down linemen, Polling (6-3, 320) and Marshall (6-4, 260), a transfer from Frederick, while on the other side of the ball are Huber (6-2, 260), Oberdalhoff (6-3, 250) and Detrich (6-1, 240). Overall team speed is not lacking either.

Glen Burnie Gophers

Coach: Dave Rigot, 18th season.

1993 record: 6-4.

Top players: Rolando "Rocky" Newton, Sr., RB-DB; Jermaine Smith, Sr., QB; Ron

Sisk, Sr., C-LB; Jay Sponaugle, Sr., FB-LB; Derrick Wilborne, Sr., G-NG; Ron Piller, Sr., T-DT; Carvell McLean, Sr., T-DT; Seku Carter, Sr., TE; Troy Talbot, Sr., DE; Tyrone Davis, Sr., DB.

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