High School Football Preview

September 05, 1996|By Pat O'Malley

Annapolis Panthers

1995 record: 4-6.

Coach: Roy Brown (career record: 45-28).

Top players: Donnell Foote, Jr., WR-DB; Donald Snowden, Sr., G; Carlos Cardoza, Sr., T; Greg Gulley, Sr., G; Danny Curran, Sr., TE; Leon Allen, Sr., TE; Joe Plattner, Jr., T; Mike Donlin, Jr., C; Shomar Johnson, Sr., QB; Greg Hunt, Sr., DB; Ken Mines, Sr., RB-DB; Koron Ford, Sr., RB-DB; Carlos Wilkens, Sr., DL.

Outlook: Brown has constructed a new backfield with the versatile Foote (6-2, 205 pounds) moving from quarterback to receiver with Johnson (5-11, 175) taking the snaps. Mines (6-1, 170), Ford (5-9, 150) and junior fullback Albert Creek (5-10, 160) possess breakaway speed behind a front line steeped in experience. Guards Snowden (6-0, 235)and Gulley (6-0, 215) and tackles Plattner (6-1, 230) and Cardoza (5-11, 235) know the X's and O's of the Panthers' smash-mouth brand of football. "We are capable of having a decent offense with more team speed," said Brown. "Our defensive line is also experienced, but our question marks are at defensive end and linebacker." The defensive secondary with the likes of Hunt (6-1, 160), Mines, Ford, Foote and junior Peter Ludlum (5-10, 160) should be solid as the Panthers go after their first winning season since finishing 7-3 in 1993.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1995 record: 3-7-1.

Coach: Jim Nemeth (first season).

Top players: Brian Judy, Sr., RB-LB-PT; Ray D'Ambrosio, Sr., RB-S; Joe Petrocelli, Sr., RB-S; Zain Marfani, Sr., G-DT; Kevin Gibbons, Sr., T-LB; Pat McLaughlin, Sr., TE-LB; Alan Creveling, Jr., FB-DE.

Outlook: Nemeth replaces Paul Terhes, who was forced to step down after another setback in his bout with cancer. Nemeth says expectations are high after the Cavaliers finished last season with a 2-1-1 run. "Our kids learned how to win at the end of the season and they liked it, " said Nemeth. The positive conclusion of '95 carried over into last week's season opener as the Cavs humbled Model School of D.C., 50-7. Judy (5-9, 175), an all-county punter and the team's top back and linebacker, started off with three touchdowns and 165 yards rushing against Model. A four-year starter, Judy will be the team's centerpiece both ways. Petrocelli (5-11, 170) and Creveling (5-9, 195) spice up the offense while Gibbons (5-10, 220) and McLaughlin (5-10, 160) join Judy in a solid linebacking corps.

Arundel Wildcats

1995 record: 10-1.

Coach: Bill Zucco (career record: 27-15).

Top players: Erik Lipton, Sr., QB; Joe Parker, Sr., E; Brendan Rath, Sr., G; Isaac Haertel, Sr., C; Jason Baumgartner, Sr., C-G; Jason Miller, Sr., FB-LB; Jimmy Lazzarro, Jr., LB-FB; Ricky Graves, Jr., RB.

Outlook: Another undefeated regular season is unlikely, but the Wildcats should be in the running for a 4A East playoff berth with the return of the county's premier passing duo in Lipton to Parker. The 6-4, 200-pound Lipton, who was the county offensive Player of the Year in '95 after setting school records for completions (110), yards passing (1,894) and TD passes (18) -- all county leading totals -- is the most sought-after Arundel football player since '71 grad and former NFL running back Louis Carter. More than 100 schools have contacted Lipton, including Tennessee, Florida State, Miami, Maryland and Penn State. Maryland has offered a scholarship and Penn State rolled out the red carpet for a Lipton visit. Parker (6-3, 185), first-team All-Metro last year, averaged 23.5 yards a catch on 28 receptions and seven touchdowns. "We may never have another passing attack like this, but our problem is replacing nine of 11 defensive starters, " said Zucco, the '95 county Coach of the Year. Junior linebacker Lazzarro (5-11, 190), whom Zucco says is "tough as nails," is expected to anchor the untested defensive unit.

Broadneck Bruins

1995 record: 2-8.

Coach: Jeff Herrick (career record: 30-39).

Top players: Jesse Young, Sr., C; Erik Holt, Sr., DE-SE; Billy Currence, Sr., G- DT; Nate Kern, Sr., G-DT; Jonas Weatherbie, Jr., QB; Earl Downs, Jr., SE; Rashaud Shirley, Sr., S; Matt Costello, Sr., T; Martel Threadgill, So., RB; Brooks Barnard, Jr., SE-K-PT.

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