The football season starts a week later this season for the three area public schools at Catonsville, Lansdowne and Western Tech, while Mount St. Joseph revs up its season Labor Day weekend on the road.
The Comets are shooting for their fourth straight postseason appearance and the Wolverines are trying to make it four winning seasons in a row.
Lansdowne aims to be more competitive, while St. Joe hopes to do some damage in the tough Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
Read on to see who will be on the gridiron for your favorite team.
Record last year: 7-4
First game: Sept. 6, 7 p.m. at Thomas Johnson
Offensive starters returning: 4
Defensive starters returning: 3
Fast fact: The Comets graduated a trio of running backs, DeAndre Lane, Joseth Hylton and Julian Singletary, who combined for 2,393 yards and 29 touchdowns last season.
Outlook: The Comets have been to the playoffs the past three seasons, but to get back to the postseason they will have to find someone who makes an immediate impact at one of the offensive skill positions.
One top candidate is senior tight end Teddy Crayton (6-1, 240) who was an All-County First Team selection last season after catching five touchdown passes and averaging 24 yards per catch.
He’ll be the top target for senior quarterback Joey Getzendanner (6-0, 175), a reserve last season.
“He has a good rapport with the receivers and he knows the offense very well,” coach Rich Hambor said.
Top receiver threats are senior Wes Burley (5-10, 165) and juniors Musa Wichhart (6-3, 180) and Sequan Smith (6-4, 180).
Replacing the vaunted backfield from last season will be the responsibility of seniors Calloway Lee (5-9, 235), Delray Ragland (5-9, 155) and Deonte Gardner (5-10, 175), junior Evan Rhodes (5-8, 175) and sophomore Dana Jackson (5-10, 160).
Junior Danny Bruno (6-3, 245), who played junior varsity as a freshman, but didn’t play last season, will fit into the offensive puzzle in some capacity.
The offensive line boasts three returning starters in senior tackle Julian Robinson (6-2, 260), junior guard Zach Delker (5-10, 235) and sophomore center Jake Faircloth (5-6, 220).
Rounding out the line are senior guard Alex Kellerman (5-9, 255), senior tackles Jacob Weiss (5-11, 200) and Brian Palacios (6-0, 210) and junior tackle Tavon Lofties (6-4, 220).
“Our offensive line is strong and our tight end and receivers are strong,” said Hambor, who is hoping someone from the new crop of running backs will leap into the spotlight.