Local Sports: High School Boys Soccer Preivew

August 30, 1996|By Pat O'Malley

Annapolis Panthers

1995 record: 8-7-1. Coach: Dave Gehrdes (12th year).

Top players: Oscar Alfaro, Jr., F; Justin Daniel, Sr., HB; Art Hendricks, Sr., FB; Todd Nicolini, Sr., FB; Chad Jacobson, Sr., HB; Chad Klakring, Jr., D; Steve Gioffre, So., F.

Outlook: With the graduation of four-year starter Andy Holt, Gehrdes has a big question mark in the cage, but experience elsewhere as his Panthers aim for an encore. "We're hoping to play the way we did last year," said Gehrdes, referring to last year's winning record that included a couple of playoff victories. "We're experienced at halfback and on defense with a good nucleus returning." Alfaro, second-team All-County last fall, Daniel, Hendricks, Nicolini, Jacobson and Klakring give the Panthers six solid returning starters. The coach is also hoping for quality contributions from a trio of sophomores in striker Gioffre, and the Hemminger twins, Andrew and Dan, a pair of backs.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1995 record: 1-16-1. Coach: Rick Carlson (fifth year).

Top players: Brian Wright, Jr., F; Carlos Torres, Jr., MF; Kevin Angelis, Sr., SW; Jason King, Jr., F; Sean McMullen, Jr., FB; Neil Little, Sr., G; Reb Beatty, Jr., G; Doug Listman, Sr., HB-MF.

Outlook: Carlson's unenviable task of building a winner in the highly competitive MIAA A Conference continues. Despite only one win last fall, Carlson, an All-County and second-team All-Metro halfback at Severna Park in 1980, is optimistic. "We have five ODP [Olympic Development Program] players and a lot of club experience," said the coach. Carlson considers the "extremely quick" Wright, who has moved from center halfback to forward, and the 5-foot-3 Torres two of the top players in the metro area. Torres is a member of the East Regional (13 states) team and according to Carlson is "the most skillful player in the county." Talent is also abundant in the goal with Little, a four-year player, being pushed by Beatty for the starting nod.

Arundel Wildcats

1995 record: 6-7. Coach: Nick Jauschnegg (19th year).

Top players: Justin Fohl, Sr., MF; Carlton Mighty, Sr., B; Steve Riley, Sr., F; Matt Hunter, Jr., B; Brian Lima, Jr., B; Cullen Schar, Sr., HB; Devin Schar, Sr., HB.

Outlook: With the youngest team he has fielded in nearly two decades at the Gambrills' school, Jauschnegg is in his words "not quite sure" what his team's strength will be. Arundel has eight sophomores on the varsity, the most ever under Jauschnegg. "If anything, I guess our strength is defense, where the majority of our returning players are," said the coach. Mighty, Hunter and Lima saw a lot of time as backs last season and Fohl is experienced in the midfield. Riley is being counted on to be a threat at striker.

Broadneck Bruins

1995 record: 5-7-1. Coach: Jon Braun (fifth year).

Top players: John Williams, Sr., HB; Thomas Moreland, Sr., FB; John Svec, Jr., G; Justin Nash, Sr., HB; Brad Limbacher, Sr., FB; Mark Holmes, Sr., F; Craig Vincent, Sr., F; John Parisi, So., HB.

Outlook: The time for the Bruins to step up has arrived, at least that is what Braun hopes as he welcomes back eight key returnees including All-County defensive stalwart Williams and co-captains Limbacher and Holmes. "It's a senior-dominated team that has worked hard and paid its dues," said Braun. "Most of them have played for three years and it's their time. They've learned what it takes to be a top team in the county." Williams (6 feet 5, 190 pounds) is a defensive force who also scored two goals and two assists last season. A trio of JV products (all backs) in sophomore Kelly Nash and juniors Kirk Bigelow and Scott Davis add depth to a team Braun says "can challenge for one of the top spots in the county."

Chesapeake Cougars

1995 record: 13-1. Coach: Earl Eckhardt (11th year).

Top players: Rick Kuhn, Sr., MF; Saul Pollack, Sr., B; Brad Tepper, Sr., F; Randy Findley, Sr., FB; Eric Long, Sr., MF; Chris Collins, Sr., MF; Dustin Clift, Sr., FB; Ryan Blackiston, Sr., FB; Bryan Owen, Sr., FB.

Outlook: All-County and All-Metro midfielder Kuhn and second-team All-County back Pollack are two of 16 returnees (13 of whom played a lot) for the defending county champions. Kuhn tied Severna Park's Player of the Year, Scott Vane, for the most goals (14) by a public school player last season and is back to lead a potentially potent offense this fall. "We will score goals and I believe we have a solid, experienced defense led by Saul [Pollack]," said Eckhardt who is 68-55-8 in 10 seasons with most of his wins coming the last five years, including 27-4-1 over the last two. "Our recent success is a testimony to the feeder systems [Mountain Road, Pasadena and St. Jane Francis] in our community." The Cougars have also boasted the All-County goalie in each of the past four years, including the graduated Phil Demske. Demske's spot is up for grabs among seniors Bill Redmond and Steve Warfield, and sophomore Howie Otto.

Glen Burnie Gophers

1995 record: 6-7. Coach: John Camm (third year).

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