By Craig Clary, firstname.lastname@example.org
7:30 AM EDT, March 22, 2012
Defense will take center stage when the local lacrosse season gets underway, so teams will put a premium on every possession.
Read on to see who will be on the field for your favorite area prep team.
2011 record: 10-4
Coach Tyler Martin's quote: "As the season goes on, it's going to be more and more difficult to satisfy players' needs for playing time."
Breakdown: Tough competition for playing time proves the Vikings will have more depth than past seasons while attempting to defend their 2011 Division II title.
They also hope to make some more noise with a deeper run in the regional playoffs with a strong backline.
"I would definitely say the defense is going to hold us in a couple games," Martin said.
That unit will be anchored by senior goalie Tyler Wolford, who was called up to the varsity during the playoffs his freshman year and has started every game since.
"Last year he played like a superstar," Martin said.
He'll be supported on defense by strong senior defenders Mugabe Jones and Ivan Neville, junior defensive stopper Rodney Jones and sophomore Darrick Purnell.
"Jones is real solid, and he's capable of stripping (the ball from rivals) every time," Martin said.
Sophomore Danny Nicholson should get some defensive experience on close defense.
The defense of senior midfielders Kyle Beard and Dominic Mullin, juniors Hugo Mantiel and Billy Linton and sophomore Nathan Airey is another strong suit.
Senior Peter Flores is a smart role player in the midfield and seniors Brandon Jordan and Nelger Romero, juniors Jon Echevarria, Quentin Muhammed, Ian Powell, Justin Smith and Joey Cox and sophomore Romario Orellano will be chomping at the bit for playing time.
The top-four attackmen include seniors Peter Koscielski and David Cellini and juniors Caleb Chavis and Shawn Brown.
2011 record: 11-6
Coach Aaron Stubbs's quote: "We are very athletic on defense and I'm hoping those guys will be pushing the ball very well."
Breakdown: Catonsville will rely on experience on the defense with seniors Joe Tebo, Cassidy Higdon and sophomore Stephen Ruppel, a returning varsity veteran.
"Our defense looks promising," Stubbs said.
Veteran senior goalie Jon Reymann is back between the pipes with junior David Ossing in a reserve role.
Other defensive candidates include senior Chris Blair, juniors Trey Weinkam and Connor Stuart-Paul and freshman Jake Bredeck.
Senior Troy Redd handles faceoffs and works in the midfield with senior Collin Miller and junior Tim Burk.
Seniors Doug Valderas, Ian McFaddden, Chris LaVeck and Will Barbagallo, juniors Lou Persico, Anthony Robertson-Wynn, Kody Scott, Kyle Reymann and Joseth Hylton and freshman Connor Hurd are also in the midfield mix.
Seniors Dillon Hanlon and Arthur Schorr and junior Drew Carlson are the keys to replenishing the lost goal production of graduated leading scorer Sean Urban.
Junior Parker Croom and sophomore Dillon Hannah will also work on attack.
Although Stubbs prefers a run-and-gun style attack, he will have to wait until his attack and midfield gets up to speed.
"It really has become a game of defense," Stubbs said, noting it will be severely tested against Mount St. Joseph on March 24 at 1:30 p.m.
"It's a good game for the community, and a lot of the kids know each other," Stubbs said.
2011 record: 2-11
Coach Nathan Brook's quote: "Most of our experience is on defense and a few of those guys will help us out on attack."
Breakdown: Senior Jacob Adcock is a four-year varsity performer and he's joined in the back by senior Kevin Harrison and juniors Ryan Ashley and Davon Charles.
Senior Tim Jacobs and junior Sammad Husam should help the defense in front of sophomore goalie Tony Simuel.
"I'm hoping I can feel pretty comfortable with him," said Brooks who moved him from the midfield last season because of an injury to the starting keeper. "He's a pretty athletic kid."
Although the midfield is lacking in depth, Brooks is eager to see the emergence of speedy juniors Richard Sofoluke, Tavon Green, and Kwame Adjei.
Senior Gregory Alegbe and junior Timi Adukuli should bolster the midfield while juniors Mike Smith, Neel Patel and Junior Fuondijing will aid the midfield and attack.
Senior Julian Patton and junior Jason Hallam could provide more spark to the attack.