Local Sports: High School Boys Soccer Preivew

August 30, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham

Carroll Christian Patriots

1995 record: 13-3.

Coach: Mark Campbell.

Top players: Casey Davis, Sr., MF; Steve Parker, Sr., D; Paul Albaugh, Jr., D; Greg Shipe, Sr., F; Todd Comstock, Jr., MF; Josh Belcher, Sr., F.

Outlook: The Patriots are coming off their finest season ever -- winning their first Maryland Association of Christian Schools title -- and things look just as bright this season with only three players lost to graduation. Aside from all the returning talent, including nine juniors with varsity experience, Campbell has two newcomers who will make an instant impact in Comstock and Belcher. Comstock, a missionary from Bolivia, will help solidify the midfield along with Davis, who has played varsity ball since the eighth grade. Belcher, a standout basketball player, has a strong shot on the soccer field and brings a good understanding of the game. He'll be expected to do his share of scoring along with Shipe. The only question is in goal where Chip Leonard departs after three years of varsity play. Jadon Good and Brad Dean, both juniors, are vying for the position and Campbell said both have looked solid. Fortunately, the Patriots will have plenty of talented experience in front of whoever wins the keeper job. Albaugh returns at sweeper with Parker a mainstay at the stopper position, giving the Patriots a strong corps up the middle of the field.

Francis Scott Key Eagles

1995 record: 6-7

Coach: G. Hibberd.

Top players: Casey Norris, Sr., D; Jason Diehl, Sr., D; Josh Casserly, Jr., D; Steve Reichert, Sr., D; Clint Brownley, Jr., MF; Tom Long, Jr., MF; Billy Kemp, Sr., F; Matt Yinger, Jr., MF

Outlook: After a 1-5 start last season, the Eagles won five of their last six games to finish the regular season with a .500 mark. With most of his defense intact and some new faces up from last year's 8-2-2 junior varsity squad, Hibberd is looking for his Eagles to continue the winning trend. The defense will be hard to score on with Diehl, a first-team, All-County selection, returning at right fullback and sweeper Norris and stopper Reichert clogging up the middle. A pair of juniors -- Vince Stonesifer and Tim Rogers -- are vying for the goalie spot. Much of last year's offense was centered around Robbie Green, who graduated after a county-leading 14 goals and four assists, which earned him Carroll Player of the Year honors. The Eagles will look to spread out the scoring more this season and take control at midfield. Brownley is the key in the middle and Hibberd expects to get a lot of work out of him along with Long, who will play a defensive center midfield spot. Kemp is a tireless worker up front with senior Doug Johnson another forward capable of scoring.

Liberty Lions

1995 record: 4-9.

Coach: Ed DeVincent.

Top players: Jamison Combs, Sr., MF; John Silva, Sr., G; Craig Wentz, Sr., D; Keith Sullivan, Sr., MF; Tim Chairs, Jr., F.; Ben Stoltenberg, Sr., F; Ryan Flynn, Sr., F.

Outlook: DeVincent, who coached the Lions' junior varsity program the previous five seasons and played at Liberty in the mid-'80s, takes over for longtime coach Lee Kestler with plans of building on the same ball-control game his former mentor worked with last season. There's a good foundation to work with starting at midfield with Combs and Sullivan both starting their third years on varsity. "They're the two captains, our leaders, and both bring a lot of skills," DeVincent said. The key in back will be Silva, who has improved every season since winning the starting job as a sophomore. He'll have familiar help from sweeper Wentz, another three-year varsity player. Chairs earned first-team All-County honors last season mostly playing midfield, but will see most of his time up front this year. In his third season on varsity, he provides the midfielders with a big target to look for with good skills and a strong shot. He and Combs both have long throws, which give the Lions an added scoring threat. "We'll compete in every game and if the breaks go our way, we'll do OK," DeVincent said.

North Carroll Panthers

1995 record: 6-5-2.

Coach: Denny Snyder.

Top players: Justin Malbrough, Sr., G; Tony Reightler, Sr., F; Jared Browning, Sr., MF; Chuck Colgan, Sr., MF; Richard Brench, Jr., D; Kevin Schultz, Sr., D/MF; Eric Ford, Jr., F.

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