2010 record: 7-3
First game: Sept. 2 vs. Boys' Latin, 7 p.m.
Offensive starters returning: 5
Defensive starters returning: 4
Fast fact: Catonsville has made the playoffs four of seven years under coach Rich Hambor.
Keys to success: The Comets need to utilize their tremendous speed and get the ball in the hands of their playmakers.
Outlook: The move up to Class 4A from 3A presents the Comets with a tougher schedule, but one that will provide the home fans with several compelling games.
After only playing four regular-season home games last season, Catonsville hosts six games starting with Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference foe Boys' Latin.
Perry Hall (Sept. 9), Franklin (Sept. 23), Hereford (Sept. 30), Eastern Tech (Oct. 6) and Milford Mill (Oct. 21) will also be featured on the stadium turf.
That turf will be dotted with speed burners for the Comets, starting with tailbacks DeAndre Lane (5-9, 175) and Jerome Williams (5-10, 175).
Lane, a junior who was promoted from junior varsity late last season, ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the University of Maryland football camp.
Williams, a senior, is coming off a season in which he gained 576 yards (8.3 per carry) and scored eight touchdowns.
"I think our speed this year is going to allow us instead of going 4, 4 and 4 yards we may go 2, 2 and 15 yards," Hambor said. "We are going to take advantage of the corners more on sweeps and throw the ball around more."
Senior quarterback Aaron Jones (6-3, 185) has a talented trio of targets in senior wideouts Deniko Carter (6-5, 180) and Sean Lipscomb (6-4, 185) and tight end Julian Jones (6-2, 205).
"Aaron Jones has really progressed very well as a quarterback since last year," Hambor said. "He is a lot more confident and really relaxed and calm in the huddle."
Jones, who threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in 2010, is backed up by juniors Justin Sprankle (5-8, 170) and Brian Howard (5-10, 160).
Carter, an all-state honorable mention selection caught 13 passes (22.5 yards per catch) for 292 yards and six touchdowns.
"Deniko is No. 1 by far, but Sean would be a No. 1 on a lot of teams in the county," Hambor said.
He and Julian Jones (8 receptions, 223 yards, 4 TDs) were on the all-county first team.