Top players: Seniors Austin Marsh (A), Ryan Kevin (MF) and Zack Hess (D); juniors Trent Teodori (G), Austin Mitchell (A), Cole Evans (MF) and Max Schuster (MF).

What you need to know: The Gators only lost five players from last season’s squad and returns a solid nucleus.

“These kids are a hard-working bunch who are looking to play the game tough this season,” coach Bryan Cole said.

Cole has a lot of trust in third-year starting goalie Trent Teodori. Also back is Zach Hess, who is expected to be the leader on defense.

Austin Mitchell (6-foot-2) will be a load to handle on attack and Austin Marsh is one of the team’s leading returning scorers.

The midfield may be the most experienced unit with three starters back in the fold. Ryan Kevin will be used all over the field, taking face-offs while also playing both offense and defense. Cole Evans is a three-year starter and Max Schuster, the Gators’ starting quarterback for the football team, will be tough in between the restraining lines.

River Hill

2012 record: 4-7, 6-10

Top players: Seniors Jon Matsunaga (MF), Daniel Healy (MF), Nick Schanee (MF), Weston Bimstefer (D) and J.T. Bostic (A); sophomores Kelly Bremson (D), Grant Bimstefer (A), Jimmy McEneaney (A), Zach Beard (A) and Darius Khademi (G).

What you need to know: The Hawks return seven starters, most of whom are underclassman. Sophomores Grant Bimstefer (11 goals, 16 assists), Jimmy McEneaney and Zach Beard are all back for their second varsity seasons and will be counted on from their attack positions. Senior J.T. Bostick also returns on attack to provide stability.

“Attack is going to be the strength of the team early but I think the defense will progress as the year goes on,” coach Keith Gonsouland said.

Sophomore Darius Khademi looks to step in as the Hawks’ starting goalie after the graduation of first team all-county pick Matt Oldhouser.

“We have a strong mixture of seniors and sophomores, who will have to grow up fast for us to have success,” Gonsouland said. “We’ll improve as the year goes along and our goal is to get a little better each day to put ourselves in the best position for the region.”

Wilde Lake

2012 record: 4-7, 7-8

Top players: Seniors Colin Tiffey (MF), Shawn Winans (MF) and Jeremy Kass (G); junior Siyon Lowe (A).

What you need to know: Colin Tiffey and Shawn Winans are three-year varsity players who have seen the program go from an average of three wins over the past couple of seasons to seven last year. Tiffey has 47 goals and 21 assists in his career with over 140 ground balls, while Winans has a career faceoff win percentage just under 70 percent.

Senior Jeremy Kass in the goal will be key on the defensive side of the field for a unit that was hit hard by graduation. The Wildecats have nine players back who saw significant time last season. Junior Siyon Lowe (20 goals, 13 assists) is poised to have a breakout season.

“This is by far the most talented team I have had in my four years at the Lake,” coach Jonathan Robinson said. “If we have trust with one another and the 'no one is bigger then the team' mentality, we will have a good season.”

Wilde Lake opens the season with tough tests from Howard, Mt. Hebron and Reservoir.