Around The Area

Football

September 02, 2004

Anne Arundel Co.

With talent and experience at the skill positions, Broadneck, which went 13-1 last season, was The Sun's No. 1 team in the final poll and a Class 4A state finalist, is ready to defend its county title.

Old Mill (which forfeited eight wins because of an ineligible player), Chesapeake (6-4) Arundel (7-4), Severna Park (5-6) and Southern-AA (8-3) all hope to challenge.

All-Metro quarterback Gary Townes is the top returnee at Chesapeake. Arundel has All-County players Danny Marin (wide receiver) and Brandon Hall (offensive tackle) back. All-County defensive back/running back Bobby Atwell leads Southern.

Baltimore City

With 13 starters back from last season's state semifinal squad, Dunbar (11-2 last season) is on the short list of Class 1A state title contenders. City (7-3), Patterson (9-3) and Poly (9-2) will challenge Dunbar for the Division I championship.

The Engineers are seeking a second straight 2A North region playoff appearance after closing last season with nine wins in their final 10 games. City's postseason hopes will rest on its line play. Patterson should capture another 4A North playoff spot.

In Division II, Lake Clifton (6-3) is looking to repeat behind a pair of 300-pound linemen. The Lakers' biggest obstacle should be Southside.

Baltimore County

Hereford's dominance took a hit last year. Randallstown ended the Bulls' county winning streak at 49 games, and Eastern Tech's subsequent 24-0 rout marked the first time Hereford was shut out since 1995.

Eastern Tech, which last year became the first team to beat Hereford twice in one season, looks to retain its 3A-2A crown. The Bulls, however, return 15 starters, and again are the favorite.

Loch Raven quarterback Danny Hunter threw 11 scoring passes for last year's 2A-1A champ. But rival Chesapeake returns 18 starters.

In 4A-3A, Randallstown, Perry Hall and Milford Mill look to unseat Woodlawn.

Carroll County

Francis Scott Key, led by senior running back Layton Hersh and offensive lineman Danny Bridges, appear to be the team to beat. Though young in some spots, the team compares favorably with last year's 6-4 squad.

Led by quarterback Matt Anuszewski, Liberty - which has just four wins over the past two seasons - is looking to make the jump to county contender.

At Westminster, former Glen Burnie coach Brad Wilson takes over for Scott Tobias, and will likely try to open up the offense.

Defending county champion South Carroll lost the vast majority of its starters - including county Player of the Year T.J. Swanson -to graduation.

Harford County

Defending state champions Joppatowne (Class 1A) and Aberdeen (Class 2A) both return plenty of talent.

Joppatowne (8-5 last season) brings back Maryland-bound Jeremy Navarre (defensive end/fullback) to anchor a solid defense and help on offense.

Aberdeen (12-1) graduated co-Metro Player of the Year Erin Henderson, but standout wide receiver/defensive back Devron Galloway is back.

Class 3A North region finalist Bel Air returns 16 starters. Havre de Grace lost several key players from its 10-1 team.

All of the Harford schools will be playing in the new Upper Chesapeake Bay Conference and meeting Cecil County teams more often.

Howard County

Glenelg seeks its fourth straight county championship and its third regional title in four years.

River Hill, defending county co-champs with Glenelg and the only county team to beat Glenelg last year, will be strong again, but won't play the Gladiators this season.

Mount Hebron could surprise both teams and capture the title behind quarterback Kyle Barnett and running back Chris Eccleston.

Wilde Lake, which won't play the Vikings, looks strong with quarterback Chris Forrest. Long Reach and Oakland Mills will be in the hunt.

Private schools

There should be tight races in all three divisions of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.

McDonogh, Gilman, Calvert Hall and Mount St. Joseph all could challenge champion Loyola in the A Conference.

In the B Conference, Archbishop Curley appears to be the early favorite to repeat. But the Friars should get stiff competition from last year's co-champ, St. Paul's, as well as Severn and Cardinal Gibbons.

John Carroll looks to retain the C Conference crown it shared last year with Boys' Latin. St. John's-Prospect Hall and Pallotti boast a record-breaking quarterback and receiver, respectively.

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