Harford County LOCAL SPORTS: HIGH SCHOOL BOYS SOCCER PREIVEW

August 30, 1996|By Mark Hoeflich

Aberdeen Eagles

1995 record: 4-9.

Coach: Matt Roberts.

Top players: Chris D'Amico, Soph., M; Ruben Ferguson, Sr., M-D; Zach Griffey, Sr., D; Jerod Gurrera, Sr., M; Rob Kuessner, Sr., S; Bryan Lindencamp, Jr., D; Arnold Scoion, Sr., D; Greg Vick, Sr., M.

Outlook: With six returning seniors and better chemistry, the emphasis is on scoring more. Gurrera is back as last season's leading scorer, while Kuessner and Vick should provide good help. The Eagles are unproven at goalkeeper but more depth will keep them fresh come late season.

Bel Air Bobcats

1995 record: 10-5-1.

Coach: Bill Jefferson.

Top players: Chris Chumley, Jr., M; John Gostonski, Sr., D; Damien Kirtley, Jr., M; Iam Minnichbach, Jr., G; Bill Nelson, Sr., D; Mike Steinen, Sr., M.

Outlook: The Bobcats bring back six players and their confidence is bolstered by last season's trip to the 3A state finals. The transfer of Todd Tabor (back to Perry Hall), who led the team in scoring a year ago, leaves Bel Air in search of a leader up front. Not so on defense, however, where super sweeper Nelson anchors perhaps the county's best defense, that also has Minnichbach back in goal.

C. Milton Wright Mustangs

1995 record: 10-4-1.

Coach: Paul Snyder.

Top players: Ryan Nelson, Sr, M-S.

Outlook: The Mustangs must deal with the loss of the entire starting team from a year ago, which accounted for 27 of the 37 goals scored. And Snyder has a very thin squad to work with, as Nelson is the lone returnee with any varsity experience. C.M. Wright has been in this position before -- in 1986 and 1989 -- and rebounded well, but this year's group will have to grow quickly to survive a grueling schedule that includes Calvert Hall, Curley, Gilman and McDonogh.

Edgewood Rams

1995 record: 2-9-1.

Coach: Paul Alston.

Top players: Ken Finley, Sr., G; Christian Rider, Sr. D; Rex Sapasap, Jr., D.

Outlook: This is the Rams' best and perhaps only chance to break through for a winning season. In all, there are 12 seniors, eight of whom played last year and most have been together for four years. Experience and skill is up and Alston hopes that translates to more scoring, as Edgewood lost four games by one goal last season. The Rams are strongest in the back, led by Rider at sweeper and Finley in goal. "We are looking to win and if we can stay healthy, we have a chance to do it," said Alston.

Fallston Cougars

1995 record: 9-4.

Coach: Len Petry.

Top players: Frank Bianco, Sr., M; Paul DiFrancesca, Sr., M- D; Joe Ercolano, Sr., S; Matt Fantom, Sr., M-D; Dan Green, Sr.,G; Paul Kelly, Sr, S; Justin Milan, Sr., M.

Outlook: The Cougars have one of the best finishers in the league in Kelly (20 goals, seven assists), who along with Bianco and Ercolano, give Fallston a trio of potent scorers. The offense will have to stay productive with an untested defense, which has Green recovering from an injury. And the Cougars will be tested early (Loyola, Wilde Lake) and late (Perry Hall, Bel Air, C.M. Wright and North Harford).

Harford Christian

1995 record: 8-8.

Coach: Harley Parkes.

Top players: Justin Cross, Sr., D; John Gauger, Sr., S; Curtis Ingram, Soph., S; Craig Ingram, Soph., M; Nathan Olinger, Sr., G.

Outlook: It's been four years since Harford Christian's last winning season, but the program continues to show signs of rebuilding. Parkes is in his 22nd year of coaching and has a squad full of sophomores, yet as many as eight are a year better after starting as freshmen. Curtis Ingram's 16 goals led last year's team and he figures to take charge again. Harford Christian plays an independent schedule but hopes to join the MIAA C Conference soon.

Harford Tech.

1995 record: 2-11.

Coach: Andy Bleichfeld.

Top players: Dan Dekowski, Soph., M; Jason Gullion, Sr., D; Nick Mannion, So., S; Gary McDonald, Jr., G; K.C. McQuiston, Jr., M..

Outlook: Bleichfeld, in his fifth year as coach, still has a young team but most of his skilled players return from a year ago. Overall skill and effort is up and so are numbers. Bleichfeld hopes to carry as many as 27 players. McDonald has good instincts and hands in goal.

Havre de Grace Warriors

1995 record: 2-10-1.

Coach: Daryl Alexander.

Top players: Tim Getz, Sr., D; Andy Mitchell, Sr., M; Lev Shellenberger, Sr., S; Ryan Thomas, Soph., S; Jason Yarbrough, Sr., D.

Outlook: Short on numbers and experience, the Warriors will rely on the play of their seniors. Players will have clearly defined roles as Alexander switches to a more pressure-oriented offense. A former goalie, Alexander hopes to develop a starter out of two first-time goalkeepers.

Joppatowne Mariners

1995 record: 8-6.

Coach: Lance Thompson.

Top players: Bob Gillespie, Sr., D; Chris James, Jr., D; Keith Kiel, Soph., S; Chip Reiter, Jr., D; Vince Supan, Jr., M.

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