2017 Boys Lacrosse Preseason Poll

Check out the preseason Top 15 in boys lacrosse.

1. McDonogh

Coach: Andy Hilgartner

Last season: 18-1, No. 1

Postseason: MIAA A Conference champion

Outlook: With six starters and 19 varsity returnees, the defending league champions have a talented cast that knows what it takes to win. The question is whether they can find strong leaders to replace Player of the Year attackman Jackson Morrill and All-Metro defenseman Arman Medghalchi. All-Metro senior Brandon Shure anchors the defense; All-Metro junior long stick midfielder BJ Farrare is a game changer in the middle and attackman Jack Parr will look to build on his 41-goal, 12-assist junior season.

2. Boys' Latin

Coach: Brian Farrell

Last season: 14-4, No. 2

Postseason: MIAA A finalist

Outlook: Farrell enjoyed a fine rookie campaign last season after replacing legendary coach Bob Shriver, and the Lakers are positioned for continued success. The team's returning talent — seven starters and 26 total from last year's roster — is at key spots and evenly spread over the field. Can the Lakers take the next step to bring home the championship? Attackman Luke Shilling, faceoff specialist Jake Glatz and midfielder Greg Ey are among the top senior leaders hoping to make it happen.

3. Calvert Hall

Coach: Bryan Kelly

Last season: 14-5, No. 6

Postseason: MIAA A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: The Cardinals are loaded with top-notch Division I college talent, particulalry on attack with All-Metro returnees JT Bugliosi and Jacob Kelly, and at midfield with Brendan Curry and Omari DeBerry. Defenseman Jack Connelly anchors the back and there's quality competition to replace four-year goalie Joe McSorley. With the wealth of talented returnees, combined with eager newcomers ready to contribute, the Cardinals have the necessary ingredients to bring home a championship.

4. Severn

Coach: Jamie McNealey

Last season: 16-7, No. 4

Postseason: MIAA A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The strides made last season in McNealey's return (he last coached Severn in 2003) were monumental as the Admirals went from no conference wins in 2015 to the semifinals.  It's quite possible the best is yet to come. They return four of their seven top scorers, led by senior Mike Lamon, have a deep midfield with Charlie Olmert and the return of Ben Bedard, and an all-senior defensive unit in front of goalies Stephen Miller and Cooper Emmons. A championship season would be no surprise.

5. St. Paul's

Coach: Rick Brocato

Last season: 12-7, No. 5

Postseason: MIAA A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: Entering his 17th and final season, Brocato's storybook finish would stater with becoming the program's winningest coach (he's eight wins away) and end with the conference championship. The Crusaders are deep and experienced with senior standouts at key spots. All-Metro goalie Alex Rode will key a largely new defense; All-Metro midfielder Brendan Tscherne is a quality faceoff specialist; and attackman Keegan Pearl is a versatile playmaker.

6. Loyola Blakefield

Coach: Ben Rubeor

Last season: 9-7, No. 3

Postseason: MIAA A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: Other MIAA powerhouses may have more proven stars, but the Dons should not be overlooked. They are fast and skilled on attack led by Ryan Dunn; have an athletic and savvy midfield with Colin Clothier and Liam Bateman; and are set to play tough defense in front of three-year starting goalie Jake Stout. Two things have stood out to Rubeor during the offseason: The hard work his players have put in and the feeling they have something to prove.

7. Severna Park

Coach: Dave Earl

Last season: 16-2, No. 7

Postseason: Class 4A-3A state champion

Outlook: A powerful attack, tenacious midfield play and sturdy defense combined to produce the program's sixth state championship last season, and the Falcons have most of the pieces back in a bid to repeat. Nineteen players, including eight starters, return with attackmen Steven Zichelli and Trevor Patschorke, midfielder Josh Coffman and defensemen TY Ward and Cullen Joyce leading the way.

8. John Carroll

Coach: Brian King

Last season: 19-6, No. 9

Postseason: MIAA B Conference champion

Outlook: The Patriots have emerged as the class of the B Conference, closing out last season with 13 straigtht wins and a second straight championship. They'll once again be the clear favorite with seven starters and 24 lettermen back and new freshmen talent ready to step in. The team's proven strength is a fully-intact attack led by senior Joey Rayman. Midfielder Paul Poholsky and defenseman Shaun Vines are the other senior leaders. A challenging early schedule will have the Patriots primed to continue their league dominance.

9. Gilman

Coach: Brooks Matthews

Last season: 3-13, not ranked

Postseason: Did not qualify in MIAA A Conference

Outlook: The Greyhounds took their lumps last season, uncharacteristically failing to qualify for the MIAA A Conference playoffs for a second straight season. They are banking on turning the tough times into valuable lessons with a determined senior group leading the way. Midfield depth is a strength with Wade Oursler (29 goals, eight assists last season) setting the positive tone. Consistency throughout the lineup will be a necessity for the Greyhounds to make a formidable playoff run.

10. Howard

Coach: Jimmy Creighton

Last season: 14-5, No. 11

Postseason: Class 4A-3A finalist

Outlook: The program is rolling — making its first semifinal appearance in 2013 followed by three state title games and a crown in 2015. With an efficient system in place and a consistent flow of talent, the Lions are showing no sign of slowing down. Attackman Mark Bruner, faceoff specialist Felix Knorr, long-stick midfielder Dayton Fisher and defenseman Ben Stephanos are the centerpieces this season.

11. Fallston

Coach: Matt Parks

Last season: 15-5, No. 10

Postseason: Class 2A-1A champion

Outlook: The Cougars got back on the championship train last season to make it four crowns in the past five years. Much of the nucleus returns as they appear to have the talent to stay aboard. Midfielder Dylan Wolf and attackman Ben Claffee, both four-year varsity players, work the attack with high skills and experience. Midfielder Justin Williams is another centerpiece and Andrew Taylor will be the glue to an experienced defense that must replace graduated goalie Liam Wilcox.

12. Hereford

Coach: Sal Picataggi

Last season: 17-2, No. 15

Postseason: Class 3A-2A semifinalist

Outlook: Reaching the state tournament is a fine accomplishment for most programs, but not as much at Hereford. Since winning six straight crowns from 2008 to 2013, the Bulls have advanced in the state playoffs the past three seasons but haven't cashed in. They are determined to change that and have the goods with nine starters back and 19 letterwinners in all. JD Nozemack keys the attack; Scott Middleton dominates at long pole midfieldfer; Joey Chestnutt is a top faceoff specialist; and Troy Tuveson and Campbell Carr lead in back.

13. St. Mary's

Coach: Victory Lilly

Last season: 1-15, not ranked

Postseason: Did not qualify in MIAA A Conference

Outlook: Two years removed from a championship, the Saints were inexperienced and simply overmatched last season. They remain young in 2017 with 26 juniors, but strides should be made toward a bright future. Ian Krampf leads an attack that's further bolstered by the addition of Broadneck junior transfer Taylor Bohanan with faceoff specialist Alex Urish and goalie Aleric Fyock also playing big roles.

14. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: Brian Phipps

Last season: 5-11, not ranked

Postseason: Did not qualify in MIAA A Conference

Outlook: The Cavaliers return just about everybody and are banking on that continuity to bring more success as they try to climb the MIAA A Confernce standings. Phipps, in his third season, says it has to start with his seniors leaders, who have set a positive tone in the offseason that has carried into the early season. The starting points — attackman Brett Baucia, midfielder Max Sherwood and defenseman Corey Gaines — are all UMBC commits.

15. Liberty

Coach: Mike Flemming

Last season: 19-1, No. 12

Postseason: Class 2A-1A finalist

Outlook: The Lions gave themselves a tough act to follow after winning the Carroll County crown and then remaining undefeated until falling in the Class 2A-1A state title game against Fallston. To keep rolling, they'll have to offset the loss of the program's most dynamic one-two scoring punch in grads Jared Cirulli and Jack Boyer. Mark Conway was another key cog on attack who will carry the load with the scoring expected to be more spread out this season.  Jason Stead is a dominant faceoff specialist and defensman Kevin Lynch keeps things tidy in back.

 

Others considered: Broadneck (11-2, not ranked), C. Milton Wright (12 -6, not ranked), Marriotts Ridge (10-7, not ranked), Mount Saint Joseph (12-9, No. 8), River Hill (13-4, not ranked), Westminster (10-6, not ranked) Broadneck (11-2, not ranked), C. Milton Wright (12 -6, not ranked), Marriotts Ridge (10-7, not ranked), Mount Saint Joseph (12-9, No. 8), River Hill (13-4, not ranked), Westminster (10-6, not ranked) 

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