Baltimore County


September 05, 2000

Even without its star, McDonogh should continue to shine.

Gone is All-Metro and All-State midfielder Devin Barclay, after the junior withdrew from school and moved to England to pursue a professional career with world-power Liverpool.

While the Eagles (17-3-3 last season) will no doubt miss their under-17 national pool player, who had five goals and a school-record 19 assists a year ago, they still return 10 of 11 starters and have plenty left in the tank for another run through the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.

"We don't have the big-time player in Devin, but we do have a lot of kids battling for spots," said McDonogh coach Steve Nichols, who begins his sixth year after advancing to the league title game against Archbishop Curley last fall. "We're usually hurting for depth, so we feel pretty good about that this year."

The Eagles feature All-Metro senior striker Kaiser Chowdhry, who Nichols calls "one of the top three strikers in the country." Last season, Chowdhry racked up 17 goals and eight assists.

They also return national pool midfielders Brian Yi and Kile McHugh, both sophomores, fifth-year senior midfielder Dan Lehr and four-year starter Lance Staib, a center-midfielder. Defensively, the team is led by senior center-fullback Doug Kurz, and three-year starter Seth Franz (who also scored 10 goals last season).

Look for McDonogh to battle it out with Loyola for first place, with Calvert Hall and defending champion Archbishop Curley right on their heels.

Loyola (11-5-4), which posted a school-record 11 shutouts a year ago and advanced to the league semifinals, again contend. Though the Dons graduated five starters, they return plenty of ammunition, including first team All-Metro and All-State fullback Mike Lookingland, fullback Tim DiPino, marking back Chase Franklin and their second leading scorer, sophomore striker Kevin Mezzadra.

"We are talented and deep," said Loyola coach Don Kraft. "Our goal is to win the MIAA, but it's a very tough league."

Coach Andy Moore should also field a powerful squad at Calvert Hall (8-9-1), which finished fourth last season before losing to Curley in the semifinals.

The Cardinals return 13, including three three-year varsity standouts in all-league midfielder Mike Pennacchia, midfielder Justin Layfield and Jim Fendryk, all seniors. Though they must replace All-Metro midfielder Mike Joseph, optimism is running high.

In the B Conference, St. Paul's figures to slug it out with defending champion Friends, Boys' Latin, Gilman, St. Mary's and Severn.

St. Paul's (17-4-2), which lost to Friends in last year's conference final, could have another strong year if all the pieces fall into place. The Crusaders lost some of their top players to graduation, including their three-year starting goalie.

Seniors Reed Bouchelle (midfielder), Jack deVilliers (stopper) and Tyler Tracy (striker) top the list of returners, while junior midfielder P. K. Fisher, a transfer from McDonogh, and senior Mike Mitchell, who will take over in goal, also figure to play prominent roles.

Boys' Latin (10-6-2), which lost to St. Paul's, 2-1, in last year's tournament semifinals, returns most of its lineup, including a strong and experienced back line.

The defensive unit features junior goalie Matt Tielsch, and a trio of seniors in halfback J. J. Laseta, fullback Mitch Hendler and Will Shearer, who will split his time between fullback, halfback and goalie. Senior Greg Wiatrowski is the top striker on offense.

Park (2-11-1) should be more athletic than a year ago, but after scoring just 15 goals all of last season, is still searching for a finisher on offense. The team, which will start mainly underclassmen, features midfielder Paul Levin, sweeper James Kaiser and midfielder Chris Kiehne.

In the MIAA C Conference, Mount Carmel (21-0-1) should again be a force with three returning all-conference players -- striker Chris Daniloski, sweeper Evan Williams and midfielder Daxton Bury -- as well as an honorable mention pick in midfielder Andrew Ganzzermiller.

Beth Tfiloh (6-10-1) should be a playoff contender with eight returning seniors and an infusion of freshmen and sophomores with club experience. Forward Shannan Meyerstein and midfielders Eliot Burkom and Chanan Weisman will be scoring threats.

Lutheran (13-6), which lost to Mount Carmel in the conference finals, again should challenge for the top spot with the return of goalie Adam Ernst and forward Peter Miller, who led the team with 19 goals.

Towson Catholic, near the bottom of the league a year ago, has a new coach, Eric Dorries, who believes the team has some talent, and that it's a matter of developing it. Top players will include senior Adam van Eron, son of former Baltimore Blast goalie Keith, and junior Phil Hahn.

Among Baltimore County public schools, Dulaney and Franklin again figure to lead Division I.

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