Severna Park, Annapolis again in familiar roles

Falcons, Panthers rate as teams to beat in county competition

Boys Lcarosse

March 20, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

"Been there, done that" is the story line on Severna Park and Annapolis in Anne Arundel County boys public school lacrosse.

So, the obvious question is, which one wins the county and state title this year, or could Arundel, Broadneck or North County emerge to spoil the party?

"On paper, Severna Park and Annapolis look like the two strongest teams, but the rest of us have to scrap and hope to get there as well," said North County's veteran coach Paul Shea.

Similarities are abound when Severna Park and Annapolis are compared going into this season.

Both teams are loaded with three and even four-year starters in their quest of the 4A-3A state championship that the two have claimed over the last two seasons.

Severna Park (13-6, No. 10) dethroned Annapolis (13-4, No. 12) last spring as the 4A-3A state champion with a extraordinary group of juniors. At the same time the strong corps of Annapolis juniors failed to successfully defend the state crown they contributed to as sophomores.

Over the past two seasons, they've turned the tables on each other with one winning the county title, the other the state crown. In 1998 Severna Park won the county title in Mike Bellotte's first season as head, but the Panthers won the state in Dan Hart's final season.

Last season Annapolis managed to win the county regular-season title at 10-1 only to lose by 13-7 to runner-up Arundel (9-2 league) in the county final avenging a 7-5 regular-season loss to the Panthers.

Both Annapolis and Arundel posted victories over Severna Park in the league schedule, but the latter Falcons knocked off both in the region and went on to take their first state title -- 12-8 over Fallston.

"We knew we could do it last year, and our kids were chomping at the bit at the end of the season," said Bellotte.

Bob Bohanan, a former assistant to Hart and now Annapolis co-coach with John German, admitted his Panthers "ran out of gas" last spring while the Falcons filled up.

"It was disappointing because our goal was to repeat as state champions, but Severna Park seemed to get better as the season went on," said Bohanan whose team returns eight starters including the county public school's leading scorer in attack Bret McConnaughhay (44 goals, 27 assists) and several other All-County performers.

"There are definitely similarities with Severna Park, like we both have any number who can play both midfield and attack, have good defense and decent goalies."

Bellotte agrees.

"I know very well there are similarities with Annapolis because I coached a lot of the kids on the Annapolis team in youth lacrosse before I took the Severna Park job," said Bellotte, who is so reved up about his coaching position that he has moved into the Severna Park community across the street from Kinder Park, where future Falcons learn to play in the Green Hornets' program.

"We both have very good goalies, solid defense and attacks. I also think both teams have a love of the game with the kids playing practically year around."

Annapolis boasts McConnaughhay, All-County midfielder Josh Leko and expects to have David Wooster on attack the entire season. Wooster had 19 goals and 22 assists in 14 games before becoming academically ineligible.

"David looks very good and has got his act together in the classroom," said Bohanan. "We expect big things out of him because he feels he let his teammates down last year and wants to make it up to them."

Second-team all-county picks midfielder Will Phillips and defenseman Cole Gelrod are back with junior goalie Rob Haberlein.

"Our concerns are depth after our first team," said Bohanan, whose team opens tomorrow at D.C. powerhouse Landon.

"We have young kids who have to grow up."

Depth, especially on the midfield, is where Severna Park may have the edge, not to mention All-County and second-team All-Metro David Wagner (6 feet 3, 200 pounds) and second team All-County Ryan McGarry (6-4, 200) anchoring a nasty defense.

For now the Falcons' first midfield are seniors Paul Gillette and Mac Chase, and junior Paul Burnett. There is not much difference in the next two midfields with all nine midfielders All-County caliber.

Seniors Starke Mueller (All-County first team), Dennis Cantwell and Dan Furbish, junior Todd Soroka, sophomore Brian Burns and 6-2, 200 pound freshman Jeff Hoffman are the others.

"We're four midfields deep, but we may move Furbish to attack where we need to get up to snuff, " said Bellotte.

Senior Jerry Cornett and sophomore Mike Osborne return to the attack where sophomore Tommy Williams, last year's leading JV scorer, may be the third starter.

Dave Korpon, the JV goalie last spring, has the edge over transfers Blake Fockler (Mount St. Joseph) and Andrew Glassman (Broadneck) for the starting nod in the cage. All three are juniors.

"We know everybody will be gunning for us and it means we have to bring our A game every time out," said Bellotte who with Bohanan is wary of the returnees at Arundel, Broadneck and North County.

"Nobody can be taken for granted."

Pub Date: 3/20/00

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