With two-time defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champ Gilman and runner-up Calvert Hall having already opened the season, it's time for their local rivals to take their first snaps of what promises to be another exciting campaign on the gridiron.

Yet there are question marks for most squads in their attempt to reach the top.

St. Paul's, coming off a MIAA B Conference title run, will try its best to hold off archrival Boys' Latin while Towson, Lutheran, Friends, Loyola Blakefield, Dulaney and Loch Raven look to rise above .500 in their respective leagues.

Listed below are the top prospects for your favorite team:


2012 record: 5-5

First game: Aug. 30 at Kenwood, 4 p.m.

Returning offensive starters: 4

Returning defensive starters: 8

Fast fact: Ritchie Schell is the second longest tenured coach in the MIAA B Conference behind Archbishop Curley's Sean Murphy and enters his 13th season with a 76-47 record and three championship game berths.

Outlook: Boys' Latin should field one of the league's best defenses again.

Schell has his concerns about the team, but this unit isn't one of them.

"We are fast and much tougher than we have been in the past," the coach said. "We go two-deep at the linebacker position. We are very athletic in the secondary."

It might be difficult to find a better group of linebackers in the conference with seniors Gavin Howell (6-1, 215) and Jake Merrill (6-2, 210) and junior Preston Waters (6-1, 205).

Senior safeties Nick Gesualdi (6-1, 180) and Pat McManus (5-7, 160) and junior cornerback Rocco Bruno (5-10, 180) give the secondary plenty of experience.

Juniors Stephon Hill (5-11, 175) and Anthony Wyler (5-9, 170) are competing for time at cornerback.

Junior Dimitri Lezcano (6-0, 230) and senior Parker Hawkins (5-10, 240) highlight the line in the 4-4 defense.

The offensive spark starts with senior quarterback Frederick Bopst (6-2, 192).

Bopst, a returning starter, is one of the most talented signal callers Schell has coached.

"He's smart with a Division I arm and he's accurate," Schell said. "He's getting recruited by a lot of different schools."