State teams at a glance

Division Iii

August 30, 2002|By BILL FREE

Frostburg State

Coach: Rubin Stevenson (third season)

Last year: 5-4, 2-1

Conference: Atlantic Central Football

Top returning players: QB Grant Burrough, RT Chris Golliday, LG Matt Smith, WR Tim Wilkins, WR Aaron Deeb, DT George O'Brien, DE Ronald Luczak, DE Allen Jordan

Outlook: Want to know how serious a talented Frostburg offensive line is about making a strong run for the NCAA Division III championship game? Smith, Ryan Long, Golliday, Jason Cutsail, and Jared Toler drove five hours last fall to Salem, Va., for the Division III title game to witness firsthand the level they need to play at to reach the finals. These five linemen should protect Burrough, a junior, enough for the Bobcats to equal or surpass last year's 30.1 points a game. The major question is: Will the defense overcome weaknesses at linebacker and in the secondary to prevent opponents from outscoring Frostburg?

Johns Hopkins

Coach: Jim Margraff (13th season)

Last year: 6-3, 4-2

Conference: Centennial

Top returning players: C Kevin Kostibos, DT Pat Doyle, OT Leif Glenn, DT Paul Smith, LB Mike Little, WR Jason Lehman, FB Steve Sache, P Chris Smolyn

Outlook: Hopkins climbed the seemingly impossible mountain called Western Maryland (now McDaniel) last year, but the Centennial Conference damage had been done by a 17-14 overtime loss to Dickinson. That surprising setback gave the Jays a third-place finish, which is where they are picked to wind up this year. Eleven starters return to a well-coached Hopkins team. But the road to a league championship will be even tougher since a second straight upset of the Green Terror seems unlikely.

McDaniel

Coach: Tim Keating (10th season)

Last year: 8-3, 5-1 (NCAA Div. III playoff berth)

Conference: Centennial

Top returning players: LB Matt Wilchinski, QB John Luster, WR Joe Ellis, RB Jemel Johnson, LT Nick Alevrogiannis, RT John Rydzewski, DT Haroun Hebron, WR Nick Venuto

Outlook: This team could play under any name (welcome to McDaniel College, out with Western Maryland College), and it still looks strong enough to dominate the Centennial Conference. The Green Terror won 33 straight league games over five years before being shocked by Hopkins in the final league game last year. That setback along with the graduation of top stars QB Jamie "Boo" Harris, WR Teron Powell and SS Jason Wingeart, along with several key offensive and defensive linemen, just forces coach Keating to reload a little more than usual.

Salisbury

Coach: Sherman Wood (fourth season)

Last year: 4-6, 1-2

Conference: Atlantic Central Football

Top returning players: RB Tony Ellis, FB Sean Montpetit, QB Mac Mollett, LB Pat Brannan, SS Greg Cannon, DE Tom McCarthy, OL Beau Ridgway, FB Reggie Boyce

Outlook: Lack of depth and size have hampered Wood's chances of building a winning program at his alma mater over the last three years. There have also been numerous changes on the coaching staff and a switch to a option-oriented offense two years ago. But now Wood has some stability and 16 returning starters.

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