Top returning defensive players are interior linemen Adam Dye (6-0, 210) and Lee, who will be joined by Lofties.
Gardner and juniors Antwan Pearson (6-4, 200) and Nate Merrill (6-0, 215) are slotted for defensive end.
Linebacking candidates include seniors Stephen Ruppel (6-1, 180) and Talil Rogers (5-9, 155) and junior Kadi Johnson (5-11, 220).
Ragland is the most experienced defensive back, where he’ll be joined by seniors Chris Coehlo (6-0, 165), Aaron Davis (5-11, 155), John Noppenberger (5-8, 155), Jake Smuck (5-10, 160) and Brandon Reitz (5-7, 150).
Senior Nathan Hines (6-5, 230) returns as long snapper and junior Garrett Wack (5-11, 165) is back as kicker and punter.
“We have a relatively new schedule, but we have a lot of new faces and I hope this is going to be the beginning of another good era in football,” Hambor said.
Mount St. Joseph
Record last year: 4-7
First game: Aug. 31, 2 p.m. at Bishop McNamara
Offensive starters returning: 8
Defensive starters returning: 5
Fast fact: Mount St. Joseph seniors Shane Lowman and Kyle Costabile were listed on the Big 33 Prospect Watch List for the Big 33 Football Classic that features players from Maryland against those from Pennsylvania.
The Gaels were winless in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference regular season last year, but the young roster, that included 20 combined sophomores and freshmen, defeated Archbishop Spalding, 19-13 in the MIAA quarterfinals before falling to Calvert Hall in the semifinals.
Those underclassmen have matured and are ready to make things happen on the Irvington campus this fall.
Returning junior running back Nevone McCrimmon (5-11, 210) led the MIAA A Conference with 1,382 yards last season, including 176 in the playoff win over Spalding.
He’ll run behind a veteran line that includes senior guard Lowman (6-2, 270), junior guard Nick Phelps (6-4, 270) and junior center Jake Dahl (6-0, 240).
Seniors Alex Barnabae (5-11, 240) and Jack Dennison (6-3, 235) add varsity experience to the line, where they’ll be joined by juniors JT Uhler (5-11, 230), Calvin Montgomery (5-10, 240) and Jimmy Moore (6-4, 215), who are up from junior varsity.
Wide receiving targets for senior quarterbacks Bryan Jango (6-0, 175) and Trey Busick (6-0, 190) include junior veterans Brandon Batts (5-9, 135) and Christian Heyward (6-2, 180) and junior tight end Kyle Offerman (6-2, 215).
Sophomore Kyree Cali (6-2, 180) helps at wideout and sophomore Alvonte Thompson (5-8, 195) is a solid running back.
“I like our offense because we are young, but a lot of guys contributed on varsity or they played a lot on junior varsity,” coach Blake Henry said.
Lowman and Thompson are the top returning defensive linemen and senior defensive backs Costabile (5-11, 180) and Kamau Bridges (5-9, 175) and junior Jeremiah McCullough (5-11, 200) are also returning starters on defense.