Coach: Dan Hart
Top players: Steve Brianas, Sr., A; Craig Rentch, Sr., A; Danny Marcellus, Sr., A; David Wooster, So., A; Pete Ludlam, Sr., M; Brad Downer, Sr., M; Dustin McConnaughhay, Sr., M; Will Phillips, So., M; Josh Lesko, So., M; Mike Donlin, Sr., D; Paul Haberlein, Jr., D; Judd Carstens, Sr., D; Cole Gelrod, So., D; Jeff Paulson, Jr., G; Jeff Childs, Sr., G.
Outlook: Experience plus talent usually means a successful season, and the Panthers are loaded in those departments. "We look good and seem to have everything covered," said Hart, who begins his 10th season as Annapolis coach and 18th overall. "We have a lot of four- and three-year varsity players. It's my most experienced team in years." On the attack, Brianas (15 goals, eight assists), Rentch (22-14), and Marcellus (13-12) are all four-year varsity players. Two more four-year vets, Ludlam (35-17) and Downer (28-17), will team with three-year player McConnaughhay in midfield. Combinations of seniors Ryan VanBuren and Justin Posey and sophomores Phillips, Lesko and Brett McConnaughhay (Dustin's brother) will make up a solid No. 2 midfield. Ludlam, who signed with Towson University, was first team All-County as a junior, and Downer was second team All-County. Donlin, another four-year player and second team All-County choice last spring, will anchor the close defense. "Our question mark right now is who will start in the goal," said Hart, who has led the Panthers to an overall 53-7 record the last four years, including a state title in 1994 (16-0).
Annapolis Area Christian Eagles
1997 record: 10-7
Coach: Dick Bitzer
Top players: Justin Peake, Sr., A; Scott Whitford, Jr., A; Alex Bitzer, Fr., A; Dustin Coombe, Fr., A; Eric Strickland, Fr., A; John Rosacker, Jr., M; Jeff Lash, Sr., M; Ryan McCuen, Fr., M; Justin Smith, Sr., D; Garth Thorpe, Fr., D; Aaron Hendricks, Jr., G.
Outlook: Coach Bitzer is excited about his Eagles' first season in the MIAA C Conference. The Eagles have played as an independent the last four years but the school entered its boys athletic program in the MIAA this school year. AACS will compete against Cardinal Gibbons, Glenelg Country School, Sts. Peter & Paul and Towson Catholic in the C conference in lacrosse.
Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers
1997 record: 9-8
Coach: Steve Seivold
Top players: Neil Adams, Sr., M/A; Steve Kelly, Jr., M; Mike Sinko, Sr., M/A; Brian Swartz, Sr., D; Lonnie Shuler, Jr., DM; Ian Andrysak, Sr., G; Rich Stanley, So, G.
Outlook: Despite last week's opening 15-6 loss to Mount St. Joseph, Seivold is optimistic that the Cavaliers can improve on last year's record. A member of the MIAA B Conference with Friends, John Carroll, Park and Archbishop Curley, Spalding needs to improve its stick work and clear the ball better. "We committed too many unforced errors against St. Joe, and that was something we had a problem with in our scrimmages," said Seivold, a 1986 Severn grad in his second season at Spalding.
1997 record: 9-5
Coach: Clint Gosnell
Top players: Ben Cimini, Sr., A; Brett Bujac, Jr., A; Ryan Harris, Sr., M; John Navarro, Jr., M; Henry Hanburger, Jr., M; J.B. McConville, Jr., M; Howard McDonald, Sr., D; Greg Wotkech, Jr., D; Brett Wilmer, So., D; Matt Malloy, Jr., G.
Outlook: Since winning the Class 3A-4A state championship in 1995 (16-2), the Wildcats have had back-to-back 9-5 seasons. Gosnell, starting his 22nd season in Gambrills, might be happy with another 9-5 log, considering his team's youth and inexperience. "We're very young, but we have some talent, and it's a matter of how fast we learn," said Gosnell. Harris is a key player as he moves from the goal to midfield joining a trio of 11th graders, and junior Malloy steps into the cage.
1997 record: 17-3
Coach: Clay White
Top players: Joey Case, Jr., A; Jason Randolph, Jr., A; Rusty Petsche, Sr., A; Matt Atkinson, Sr., M; Kelly Nash, Jr., M; Phil
Morrison, Sr., M; Ruark Criner, Sr., M; Ray Putt, Sr., M; Jamie Powers, Sr., D; Dustin Hall, Sr., D; Sam Strothers, Jr., D; Josh Schneider, Sr., D; Tom Dryer, Sr., G.