Teams at a glance

Boys Lacrosse

March 20, 2000|By Pat O'Malley

Teams at a glance

Annapolis Panthers (13-4)

Co-Coaches: Bob Bohanan and John German

Outlook: Like rival Severna Park, the Class 4A-3A state champion, the Panthers bring back a strong and seasoned nucleus. Annapolis returns All-County choices in attackman Bret McConnaughhay and midfielder Josh Lesko and All-County second-team picks in midfielder Will Phillips and defenseman Cole Gelrod. Those four led a senior-dominated team to the county regular-season title at 10-1 last spring. McConnaughhay led county public schools in scoring last spring with 44 goals and 27 assists for 71 points while Lesko added 39 goals and 29 assists. Phillips was close behind with 25 goals and 39 assists. The Panthers are expected to challenge Severna Park's bid to repeat.

Ann. Area Christian Eagles (15-2)

Coach: Dick Bitzer

Outlook: After winning two consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference titles, the Eagles, 26-5 the last two years, make their debut in the B Conference this spring. Junior attack Dustin Coombe returns for his third varsity season after leading the county in scoring with 100 points on 46 goals and 54 assists. Coach Bitzer, who begins his eighth season, also welcomes back three other seasoned juniors in attack Alex Bitzer (60, 38), his son, midfielder Kevin Dennstaedt (32, 14) and defenseman Garth Thorpe.

A rchbishop Spalding Cavaliers (6-16)

Coach: Walt Blahut

Outlook: Blahut is optimistic starting his second season as the MIAA B Conference Cavaliers head coach. Fueling his optimism is the return of his leading scorer, sophomore midfielder Kyle Dixon, who scored 31 goals and 23 assists in his first season. Other key returnees are senior defensemen Zack Hardy and Bill Harris, sophomore attack Derek Platt and junior midfielder Mike Duckett. "We can definitely turn things around," said Blahut.

Arundel Wildcats (16-3)

Coach: Clint Gosnell

Outlook: The dean of county head coaches in his 24th season, Gosnell has his team in a rebuilding mode. Gone are Player of the Year and All-Metro defenseman Greg Wojtech (UMBC) and All-County selections such as midfielder Henry Hanburger and second-team goalie Matt Milloy. Senior attack Kevin Reinecke (38, 10) and junior midfielder Chase Gompers return and figure to be the big threats offensively. The duo combined for five goals in last year's 13-7 upset of Annapolis in the county championship game. Defensemen Tom Dorsey, Brett Wilmer and John Wheat also return, and that trio should keep the Wildcats, ranked 11th in last year's final poll, in every game.

Broadneck Bruins (10-6)

Coach: Clay White

Outlook: Last year's team had a lot of firepower and was the highest-ranked county public school team at the start of the season at No. 9 in The Sun's poll. But the underachieving Bruins never made it to the region final and finished No. 13. Graduation took All-County attack Gerry Case, the school's all-time leading scorer and All-County midfielder Kelly Nash. The good news for White, who led the Bruins to four state championships during the '90s, is that he kept 14 sophomores or freshmen on last year's team, and players such as sophomore midfielder Steve Panos, junior defenseman Blaine Fairbanks and senior defenseman Jeff Britton should be ready to step up. Also, starting goalie Ricky Boulay, who had 105 saves, is back for his senior year along with sophomore keeper Jim Millhausen, who got a lot of time as a freshman.

Chesapeake Cougars (7-6)

Coach: Jimmy Beardmore

Outlook: Here's another county 4A team hit hard by graduation and faced with rebuilding. Second-year coach Beardmore, a former goalie at Severn and the University of Maryland, is looking for senior midfielder Brian Oakley, who had 17 goals and 16 assists last season, to step up and lead the offense. On the defensive side, the Cougars are banking on returning seniors Rob Norris and Justin Reed and senior goalkeeper Matt Arnold, who had over 100 saves.

Glen Burnie Gophers (3-13)

Coach: Hank Schorreck

Outlook: Improving to 6-10 in a very competitive 1998 season, the Gophers, who lack a feeder system in their school district, fell back last spring. Schorreck is hoping the varsity experience garnered by attack David Falls as a freshman last year and by then-sophomores Dan Norfolk and Donnie White will pay dividends this season. Also, goalkeeper John Kneisley returns for his senior year after posting 145 saves last spring.

Key School Obezags (14-1)

Coach: Artie Smith

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