High School Football Preview

September 05, 1996|By Rick Belz

Atholton Raiders

1995 record: 7-3 overall, 5-2 league.

Coach: Kevin Kelly (career record: 7-3) .

Top players: Sean Williams, Sr., QB; Ross Benson, G, Sr.; Marcus Boykins, T, Sr.; Paul McElheny, Sr., T; Matt Kensinger, Jr., G; Lavar Macon, Sr., RB, Josh Neel, Sr., FB; Keith Jefferson, Sr., WR; Ryan Lambert, Jr., WR, QB; Bryan Worsley, Sr., TE; Cian Oatts, Sr., RB.

Outlook: The Raiders surprised a lot of people last season, but no one should overlook them this season. The line is huge, led by McElheny, Benson and Boykins, but its questionable depth, stamina and quickness are of concern to Kelly. The team is loaded with top quality sprinters such as Jefferson and Oatts, and experienced running backs like Macon, Porter and Neel. "We could duplicate or do better than last season," Kelly said. Because it lost 300 students by redistricting, Atholton has dropped from Class 3A to 2A.

Centennial Eagles

1995 record: 5-5 overall, 3-4 league.

Coach: Ed Holshue (career record: 70-83).

Top players: Jason Zolak, Sr., SE; Aaron Perkins, Sr., OG/DT; Scott Bross, Sr., TB/SS; Tim Miller, Sr., OG/DE; Nick Sfakianos, Sr., F/DB; Chip Harrison, Sr., F/DB.

Outlook: The Class 3A Eagles return six starters but they'll be inexperienced at linebacker, defensive end and quarterback, and their first three games are against tough opponents Liberty, Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake. Centennial's strength is its

secondary, but the offense has some strength at running back and wide receiver. "We'll be middle of the pack and are hoping to go 6-4," Holshue said.

Glenelg Gladiators

1995 record: 2-8 overall, 0-7 league.

Coach: John Davis (1st year).

Top players: David Boteler, Sr., T; Jeremy Lignelli, Sr., RB/LB; Josh Hatmaker, Sr., G/LB; Kevin Ferguson, Sr., RB/DB; Todd Travis, Jr., QB; Jeremy Pendleton, Sr., FB/LB; Daniel Green, Sr., G/LB.

Outlook: Davis, 35, is Glenelg's third coach in three seasons. He's from Florida and was a wide receiver at Tulane. He'll operate with a wing-T offense and 4-3 defense. "We're one of the smaller schools and are not deep, but if we can stay healthy we should do well." Glenelg, despite losing students to River Hill by redistricting, remains Class 2A.

Hammond Bears

1995 record: 7-3 overall, 5-2 league.

Coach: Joe Russo (career record: 108-73).

Top players: Josh Zillmer, Sr., QB; Jerry Oliver, Sr., WR/DE; Jamie Wasser, Sr., C; Matt Nelson, Sr., DT; Tom Brown, Jr., LB; Keith Eldridge, Jr., RB; Randy Curtain, Jr., RB/LB.

Outlook: The Class 2A Bears return four starters, and their

strength will be at quarterback and wide receiver. The team will be inexperienced, with 10 seniors and 22 juniors. "And we are lacking skilled people at running back," Russo said. Nevertheless, the Bears have switched from a run-and-shoot offense to a wing-T. The defense is a 4-3. "I think we can win more games than we lose," Russo said.

Howard Lions

1995 record: 5-5 overall, 2-5 league.

Coach: Vince Parnell (career record: 15-25).

Top players: Brian Neal, Sr., OT/NG; Carroll Burley, Sr., OG/LB; Brian Broadus, Sr., QB/DB; Ryan Schlamp, Sr., RB/DB; Owen Brown, Sr., FB/LB; Ron Mabe, Sr., C/LB; Myron Jones, Soph., RB; Anthony Haywood, Sr., RB; Jabrelle Jackson, Jr., WR/DB.

Outlook: The Lions return six starters. Burley, 6-1, 235 pounds, and Neal, 6-0, 279, are team leaders and excellent linemen. Parnell, returning to the Lions' helm after a 10-year layoff, is installing a wing-T offense, replacing the I-formation and shotgun. The Lions lack an experienced quarterback. The line is the team's strength. "We'll be competitive, but our season will depend on our line," Parnell said. Howard drops from 3A to 2A because of redistricting losses.

Long Reach Lightning

1995 record: New school.

Coach: Pete Hughes (1st year).

Top players: Savoy Saunders, Jr., NG; Clarence Reid, Jr., RB; Greg Matusewitch, Jr., QB; Chris Smith, Jr., WB/DB; Willy Bhatia, Jr., WR; Devon Conwell, Fr., FB/LB.

Outlook: The school has no senior class, but the Lightning had 90 players turn out, including 50 freshmen. Hughes, the defensive coordinator at Hammond the last 10 years, is not keeping any sophomores on the junior varsity. He'll operate with a wing-T offense. "We're loaded with speed. We'll be as fast as any team in the county," Hughes said. "But we don't have much size so our line is a little suspect." Long Reach is Class 1A.

Mount Hebron Vikings

1995 record: 3-7 overall, 1-6 league.

Coach: Pat Crouse (first year).

Top players: John Smith, Sr., QB; Mike Machiran, Sr., TB/LB; Tom Perone, Sr., C/LB; Chris Varlotta, Sr., FB/LB; Ryan Douglas, Jr., WR/CB; Sampson Kyere, Sr., WR/S; Tamar Anderson, Jr., DE; John Berry, Jr., T.

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