Around The Area

Boys Lacrosse

High School Sports

March 19, 2004

Anne Arundel County

It's the same old story in terms of contenders, but there are three new coaches in the Anne Arundel County public school league.

Defending champion Severna Park (18-1) has a new coach in former Maryland All-American (1987) goalkeeper Jimmy Beardmore. Beardmore will see his new team challenged by last year's county runner-up, Broadneck (14-5).

Class 3A-2A state champion Annapolis (14-2) lost a lot to graduation as did South River (12-4), which has a new coach in Jim Haluck.

North County (6-10) has a new coach in Walt Blahut, who left Spalding after five seasons. Much improved Northeast, which went from 6-10 to 9-6, has a good returning nucleus. Arundel (7-7) was hurt by graduation.

Baltimore City

Baltimore City league's A, B and C divisions have been restructured.

Poly, winner of the B Division, moves up to the A Division with Forest Park, Northwestern, Patterson and defending champion Walbrook.

Southwestern, last year's C champion, has graduated into the B Division with Carver, City, Douglass and Edmondson.

W.E.B. DuBois, Lake Clifton, Reginald Lewis, Mervo and Southern comprise the C Division.

Workhorse midfielder Sam Sloan and goalie Sherman Trusty could help Walbrook retain its crown, and Carver, coached by Paul Britt, is looking to take over where Poly left off in the B Division.

Baltimore County

Four-time 4A-3A state champ Dulaney is back to defend in Baltimore County's big schools division, as is defending 2A-1A state champ Hereford among the small schools

And each should receive significant tests.

Dulaney is 60-9 in the past four years under 25th-year coach Gary Schreiber, whose Lions are 57-1 against public schools in that span. But only one starter is back from last year's team, which should have 4A-3A league rivals such as Towson, Perry Hall, Parkville, Catonsville and Franklin eager to knock the Lions off.

Similarly, there are improved teams at Eastern Tech, Pikesville and possibly Owings Mills looking to dethrone Hereford in county 2A-1A.

Carroll County

A season-opening slugfest between state semifinalists Westminster and Liberty on Tuesday will help set the tone for what could be a wide-open race in Carroll County.

Defending county champion Westminster (15-2) lost eight starters to graduation, but has a number of players ready to step in and fill those holes. The midfield is led by four-year starter Matt Duke and three-year starter Alex Finch.

Liberty, which finished last season by winning 10 of 11, returns a half-dozen all-county players, and should be particularly strong on the attack. Senior Zach Hinton leads the defense. South Carroll will feature a senior-dominated team, led by all-county defender T.J. Swanson and returning goalie Wes Peterson.

Harford County

North Harford's defense of the county title is off to a rocky start as attackman Nick Mezzanotte and defenseman Jake Pieper, two of the Hawks' best players, have been slowed by injuries.

When healthy, the Hawks have enough firepower to pick up where they left off. Fallston may have the most complete team with a veteran defense, solid depth and a finisher in Steve Bosse.

Not far behind is C. Milton Wright, which should improve as the season goes on, and Bel Air, which returns a lot.

Graduation hurt Joppatowne and Edgewood. Aberdeen, North Harford and Havre de Grace should be much improved.

Howard County

Glenelg upset defending state champion Centennial in the regional final last season before losing to Hereford, 10-8, in the state semifinal, and returns first-team All-County goalkeeper Ward Odenwald and a trio of second-team All-County players that includes attackman Matt Nicola, midfielder Joe Derwent and defenseman Matt Richter.

Mount Hebron returns five starters, including second-team All-County attackman Casey Hughes.

Two-time defending county champion Centennial returns just two starters and will depend on its defense.

River Hill's strength is also defense, consisting of Karl Heinz (6-2, 210), Colin Fadrowski (6-3, 205) and Mike Bogdanor (6-4, 205).

Private schools

Few of the area's sports coaches lament a preseason No. 1 ranking like those in boys lacrosse, particularly those from the MIAA's A Conference.

Defending champ Calvert Hall begins as the top dog, but coach Bryan Kelly realizes that it is doubtful his Cardinals can go unbeaten in a league that includes Boys' Latin, Gilman, Loyola, McDonogh and St. Mary's. Calvert Hall, St. Mary's and Loyola rank No. 4, No. 8 and No. 16 nationally in High School Lacrosse America.

Spalding has moved up to the 11-team A Conference, leaving behind an eight-team B Conference in which John Carroll is the defending champion. Chapelgate is the defending champ in the six-team C Conference.

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