State teams at a glance

Divisions Ii & Iii

September 03, 2004|By BILL FREE

State teams at a glance

Division II

Bowie State

Coach: Mike Lynn (first year)

Last year: 6-4, 5-2

Conference: Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

Top returning players: SS Atcheson Conway, NG Bruce Banks, LB Christopher Glass, FB Caleb Cranke, TB Kelvin Collins, FB-TB Julius Jordan, WR Alonzo Corbett, TB-KR Devin Smith

Outlook: Conway, a two-time first-team All-CIAA choice, is back for a final run at an elusive CIAA championship. So worry not about the Bulldogs' defense. It is good enough again to win a title. What new coach Lynn has to do is figure out how to inject consistency into an offense led by sophomore QB Lamar Manigo. Don't get too excited about the Bulldogs' 27-0 season-opening victory over West Virginia State last week. Bowie opened last season with a nearly identical 27-7 win over the West Virginia school, and then spent most of the rest of the season waiting for the offense to show up.

Division III

Frostburg State

Coach: Rubin Stevenson (fifth year)

Last year: 4-5, 3-0

Conference: Atlantic Central Football

Top returning players: RB Mike Kitchen, OL Jared Toler, QB Jimmy Ward, WR Adam Snyder, DE Kevin Culbert, LB James Clash, LB Chris Lentz, CB Turon Kendrick

Outlook: The Grant Burrough go-for-broke passing era has ended. Now the Bobcats will most likely turn to a more conservative ground game led by Kitchen, who will be running behind an offensive line that averages 290 pounds. Kitchen gained 694 yards last season. Frostburg's marquee player this season is Culbert, who is a preseason Division III first-team All-American after being chosen Atlantic Central Football Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year last season. The Atlantic Central has expanded from four to six teams this season, with SUNY-Brockport and Buffalo State joining the league.

Johns Hopkins

Coach: Jim Margraff (15th season)

Last year: 10-1, 5-1

Conference: Centennial

Top returning players: DB Matt Campbell, DL Alan Cody, RB Adam Cook, LB Adam Luke, WR Anthony Triplin, OL Matt Weeks, LB Max Whitacre, WR Brian Wolcott

Outlook: This Johns Hopkins football team keeps breaking all kinds of school records for winning and individual accomplishments, but still the Blue Jays have yet to secure an NCAA playoff berth. This season, however, league experts predict Hopkins will gain an automatic NCAA berth by winning the Centennial title outright. There is talent spread throughout this team, led by Campbell whose eight interceptions last season paced a defense that was No. 1 in the nation in pass efficiency with a 61.40 rating. That rating comes on the strength of 28 interceptions and allowing just two touchdown passes in 11 games.

McDaniel

Coach: Tim Keating (12th season)

Last year: 5-5, 4-2

Conference: Centennial

Top returning players: NG Will Epps, ILB Ron Ringgold, OLB Joe Giusti, FB Jason Hartman, RB Broderick Maybank, QB Brad Baer

Outlook: The Green Terror no longer strikes fear into teams around the Centennial. First, McDaniel's run of five straight NCAA playoff berths ended in 2002, and then the team's march to six consecutive league titles came to a halt last season. Now the Terror is striving to return to those not-too-distant glory days behind the passing and running of Baer and the punishing running and blocking of Hartman.

Salisbury

Coach: Sherman Wood (sixth season)

Last year: 7-2, 2-1

Conference: Atlantic Central Football

Top returning players: QB Dustin Johnson, OL Brett Wehnert, PK Brock Boland, LB Brad DeHaven, LB Mike Myrtle, LB Billy Leinemann, DT Andrew Deming, CB Chris Barr

Outlook: The last two Salisbury regular seasons have ended with bitter losses to state rival Frostburg State in the Regents Cup game, marring outstanding seasons by the Sea Gulls and cutting deeply into the team's self-esteem. Again, Salisbury appears loaded for a strong season with 10 defensive and eight offensive starters returning. However, a season-ending victory over Frostburg is needed to regain lost pride on the Eastern Shore.

- Bill Free

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