Outlook: The Bulls, who return all but three starters, will be a force by the end of the season, according to Causey. If his team beats Owings Mills before Christmas, Causey said Hereford will "be very, very good" this season. Junior Anthony Genco (120), a fifth-place finisher in the state tournament last season, leads the Bulls' charge.

9. Reservoir

Coach: Andrew McIntyre

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Last season: 15-8, unranked

Postseason: 35th in 4A-3A state tournament

Outlook: Reservoir will have a balanced attack throughout their starting lineup, anchored by junior Mason Kilcarr (Howard County champion, regional runner-up) and sophomore Sam Rowell (Howard County and regional champion). With 10 starters back, prospects are high for the Gators this season.

10. Mount St. Joseph

Coach: Harry Barnabae

Last season: 4-3, unranked

Postseason: 7th in MIAA, 10th in MIS

Outlook: With a strong nucleus already returning, the Gaels will be further strengthened this season with the additions of Class 4A-3A champion Zeke Salvo (126), a junior transfer from Perry Hall, and freshman Logan Rill, the younger brother of two-time Maryland Independent Schools state champion Tyler Rill.

11. St. Paul's

Coach: Jay Braunstein

Last season: 17-4, No. 6

Postseason: 3rd in MIAA, 4th in MIS

Outlook: The Crusaders are younger than last season, with sophomore Ryan Friedman (45-9 and third at National Preps) and junior Jack Mutchnik (51-11, MIS champion and 5th at National Preps) leading the way. However, they also feature their first complete lineup in more than a decade.

12. Wilde Lake

Coach: Jeff Starnes

Last season: 12-4, No. 14

Postseason: 6th in 4A-3A state tournament