After seven seasons with the junior varsity team, Chris Beil takes over at Glenelg. Wilde Lake also welcomes Bob Cranford as its new head coach, while Caitlin Bay takes over at Marriotts Ridge and Christina Hewitt will lead Oakland Mills. Chapelgate AD Jason Bennett will serve as head coach as well this year.
With the season tipping off on Dec. 5, here's a look at the teams across the county:
Coach: Julia Reynold
Last season: (8-11 county, 10-12 overall)
Top players: Senior Margaret Tatum (G/F); juniors Kalere Caldwell (F) and Chelsea Mitchell (G); freshmen Francesca Vanegas (G) and Ryan Jones (G).
What to expect: While second-year coach Julia Reynold said that post play will be one of the biggest challenges facing the Raiders this season, there is still a lot to be excited about with new additions to the roster.
“We graduated one senior last year, so there are nine returners,” she said. “I have also added two freshmen, Francesca Vanegas and Ryan Jones, who will add to our guard play.”
Chelsea Mitchell (second team) returns as the Raiders lone all-county selection from last season. The junior guard averaged 12 points per game in her sophomore year.
Reynold said she is particularly looking forward to the play of Mitchell, who has “quick hands on defense and has great speed.”
The Raiders will be without senior forward Briana Taborn, as she is still recovering from a knee injury from last season.
Coach: Robert Macheel
Last season: (7-12, 8-15)
Top players: Seniors Sara Downing (G), Brittany Anderson (F), Sammie Alborhoz (G) Mary Anderson (F) and Alicia Hsieh (G); juniors Anna Mitchell (F) and Kimmy Eads (F).
What to expect: Keeping healthy will be the biggest concern for Centennial heading into this season, as well as staying focused during long stretches of games, according to coach Robert Macheel.
“Experience will be our biggest strength as we have a majority of returners who have had two or more years on varsity,” he added.
The Eagles’ senior leadership alone is invaluable, as five girls return looking to make a significant impact in their final seasons.
Guards Sara Downing, Sammie Albornoz and Alicia Hsieh, as well as forwards Brittany Anderson and Mary Anderson make up that senior group.