Boys lacrosse: The poll

1. Boys' Latin

Coach: Bob Shriver

Last season: 16-4, No. 2

Postseason: MIAA A Conference runner-up

Outlook: The demanding Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference might be as deep and balanced as ever. From top to bottom, the Lakers' wealth of returning talent, led by first-team All-Metro attackman Wells Stanwick and second-team midfielder Jeff Chase, has them tagged as a slight preseason favorite.

2. St. Paul's Coach: Rick Brocato

Last season: 16-4, No. 1

Postseason: MIAA A Conference champion

Outlook: After their impressive 17-7 win over Boys' Latin for last year's title, the Crusaders have a tough act to follow. Goals should be plentiful, with the offense led by All-Metro pick Jay Carlson and Taylor Michel. Goalie Gunnar Waldt brings confidence in back, and the Crusaders have more than enough to enjoy a repeat.

3. Gilman Coach: Brooks Matthews

Last season: 9-10, No. 11

Postseason: None

Outlook: Behind senior attackman Conor Doyle and senior midfielder Ryan Tucker, the Greyhounds are primed for a rebound season after gaining valuable experience in rebuilding mode last year. Depth at midfield, Palmer Murray back in goal and an eager group willing to work hard will have them back in the MIAA mix.

4. Calvert Hall Coach: Bryan Kelly

Last season: 9-6, No. 8

Postseason: MIAA A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: Calvert Hall is young, with just six seniors. But don't let that fool you -- the Cardinals are also plenty talented and will make some noise in the MIAA. Is their youthful roster ready to step up immediately or still a year away?

5. McDonogh Coach: Andy Hilgartner

Last season: 16-6, No. 3

Postseason: MIAA A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Eagles have a solid mix of returning players and newcomers, and Hilgartner likes his team's work ethic and early chemistry. The defense is clearly the team's strength, led by senior Bryson Greene and long-pole midfielder Kyle DeVinney.

6. St. Mary's Coach: Rob Chomo

Last season: 12-8, No. 4

Postseason: MIAA A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: With former offensive coordinator Chomo taking over for John Hogan, expect a smooth transition and a potent attack to be the team's strength. Senior attackman Logan Connolly (Notre Dame) is the catalyst with plenty of help around. Goalie Red Carlson fills the void left by graduated standout Dom Lamolinara.

7. Loyola Coach: Jack Crawford

Last season: 13-6, No. 5

Postseason: MIAA A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: Having graduated eight starters and 19 in all, the Dons will be largely inexperienced compared with the rest of the MIAA, but Crawford has been impressed with his group's athleticism and work ethic. Midfield will be a strength, led by Rutgers-bound senior Dylan Bozel.

8. Fallston Coach: Matt Parks

Last season: 13-3, No. 13

Postseason: Class 3A-2A North semifinalist

Outlook: The pieces are in place -- starting with the dynamic one-two scoring punch of seniors Brian White and Andy Thrasher -- for the Cougars to make a run at a state championship. Last year's heartbreaking 15-14 region semifinal loss to three-time defending state champion Hereford adds motivation.

9. Hereford Coach: Brian King

Last season: 20-1, No. 6

Postseason: Class 3A-2A state champion

Outlook: After winning three straight state titles, the Bulls have more questions coming into this season than any other in recent years. They have to deal with the graduation of All-Metro Player of the Year Rustin Bryant on attack as well as that of their entire defense. King is confident that tradition and hard work will help the team prevail.

10. Glenelg Coach: Josh Hatmaker

Last season: 17-2, No. 10

Postseason: Class 2A-1A finalist

Outlook: The perennial state power has more depth and balance this season with a mix of returning talent and promising newcomers. Junior attackman Nick Wynne and senior defenseman Brendan McMahon are the team's anchors.

11. Severna Park Coach: Larry Kramer

Last season: 20-0, No. 7

Postseason: Class 4A-3A state champion

Outlook: Coming off a perfect season and the program's fifth state championship, the Falcons have some retooling to do with only three starters back. But 20-plus seniors -- led by midfielder Avery Littlejohn and attackman Matt Skrenta -- should make it a typical reloading year rather than a rebuilding one.

12. Bel Air Coach: Scoop Kelly

Last season: 15-2, No. 12

Postseason: Class 3A-2A North finalist

Outlook: With seven starters returning and an influx of new talent, the Bobcats are loaded for a run at a state title. Attackman Carson Kalama is back after a breakout freshman season, and the midfield is another strength, led by four-year varsity players Justin Gayo and Danny Rew.

13. Arundel Coach: Kevin Necessary

Last season: 12-5

Postseason: Class 4A-3A East semifinalist

Outlook: The Wildcats are a strong contender in Anne Arundel County, with 22 lettermen returning and a couple of transfers expected to make an immediate impact. Goalie Cameron Gormley leads a stingy defense, and the Wildcats have numbers on attack to spread out the scoring.

14. Marriotts Ridge Coach: Dan Sageman

Last season: 13-4, unranked

Postseason: Class 3A-2A South finalist

Outlook: The Mustangs have experienced talent all over the field, but their unquestioned strength is at midfield. Led by seniors Gavin Harrison, Bryan Martinelli and Ethan Tompkins -- all three-year starters on the first midfield line -- the team appears primed for at least a run at the Howard County title.

15. Archbishop Spalding Coach: Ricky Schwartzberg

Last season: 9-11, unranked

Postseason: None

Outlook: The Cavaliers graduated starters at both ends, but first-year coach Schwartzberg has some quality starting points, beginning with Syracuse-bound junior midfielder Conor Pequigney. How fast the younger players adjust to varsity will play a big role.

OTHERS CONSIDERED: Broadneck (10-6, unranked); C. Milton Wright (12-8, unranked); Catonsville (14-2, unranked); John Carroll (15-2, No. 14); North Harford (13-5, unranked); River Hill (13-6, No. 15); South Carroll (12-5, unranked); South River (14-3, unranked); Westminster (12-3, unranked)

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