The Poll

Varsity -- Fall Preview

Football

August 29, 2007

1. McDonogh

Last season: 6-3, ranked No. 6

The Eagles, tri-champs with Gilman and Loyola in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference last season, are loaded at the skill positions and have a strong offensive line led by Lane Clelland and Tyler Goldberg. Coach Dom Damico, in his 14th season, said this might be the "best team we've had."

2. Loyola

Last season: 10-1, No. 2

The Dons will likely be in the MIAA A Conference hunt once again, led by junior quarterback Leon Kinnard and linebacker Bubba Harris.

3. Gilman

Last season: 6-3, No. 7

With its outstanding defensive duo of linebacker Joey Ehrmann and two-way lineman Chris Burnett, and running back Jordan Love on offense as part of a strong returning nucleus, the Greyhounds should be in the thick of things in the MIAA A Conference.

4. River Hill

Last season: 13-1, No. 1

Once again, the Hawks look like the team to beat in Howard County and the Class 3A playoffs. Michael Campanaro and Zach Martin will spark River Hill on both sides of the football.

5. Edmondson

Last season: 13-1, No. 3

The defending Class 2A state champion Red Storm has a strong core led by All-Baltimore City junior quarterback Carroll Washington and running backs Chris Greene, Terrance Wilson and Jamal Fields.

6. Dunbar

Last season: 11-3, No. 8

Who can stop Poets junior running back and returning Offensive Player of the Year Tavon Austin running behind lineman James Coppage? The defending Class 1A state champion Poets return six starters on offense and five on defense.

7. Arundel

Last season: 9-2, No. 14

Coach Chuck Markiewicz is starting his seventh season at his alma mater with perhaps his best team, as quarterback Nick Elko again runs the Wildcats' no-huddle offense. All-Anne Arundel County wide receiver Brandon Johnson-Farrell is Elko's main target.

8. Broadneck

Last season: 11-2, No. 5

Class 4A state semifinalists last season who lost to eventual state champion Suitland, the Bruins have some question marks, especially on defense with just two returning starters, but coach Jeff Herrick always seems to find a way to win.

9. Long Reach

Last season: 6-4, unranked

The Lightning slipped last season, as it fell three wins short in a bid for a third straight nine-win season. Quarterback David Upchurch and linebackers Alvin Thomas and Mike Davis will be the keys to Long Reach getting back to the 3A playoffs.

10. Archbishop Spalding

Last season: 11-0, No. 4

Coming off the most successful season in school history, the two-time defending MIAA B Conference champion returns a good quarterback in Kevin Moran and four defensive starters.

11. Old Mill

Last season: 9-3, No. 13

The Patriots are a perennial contender in Anne Arundel County and Class 4A East. This season, junior Grant Enders steps in at quarterback.

12. Parkville

Last season: 8-3, unranked

Fourth-year coach John Marquette has the Knights shooting for their fourth consecutive berth in the Class 4A playoffs, with running backs-linebackers Ian Sadon, Tai-Jee Glenn-Akles and C.J. Bianchi leading the way.

13. City

Last season:11-1, No. 10

Underachievers in the postseason last year, the Knights hope to atone this year with returning All-Metro defensive James Carmon and quarterback Ellis Foster leading a strong nucleus.

14. Hereford

Last season: 10-2, No. 11

After a 37-17 loss to eventual Class 2A state champion Edmondson in the North regional final, the three-time state champion Bulls are motivated and have a host of returning players.

15. Archbishop Curley

Last season: 9-2, unranked

After having a successful season as an independent last year, the Friars return to the MIAA B Conference looking to challenge two-time defending champion Archbishop Spalding.

Others considered -- Atholton (7-3, unranked), Eastern Tech (8-3, unranked), Glenelg (8-3, unranked), Joppatowne (8-3, unranked), Mount St. Joseph (3-7, unranked), Perry Hall (10-2, No. 12) and Severna Park (9-3, unranked).

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