Coach: Dan Makosy
Postseason: Class 2A South regional finalist
Outlook: The Golden Bears fell to River Hill in last season's opener but shared the Howard County title with the Hawks after winning 10 straight before dropping the regional final to eventual state champ McDonough. With a pair of stellar running backs, they should again have a lot to say about the county race.
14. Wilde Lake
Coach: Mike Harrison
Last season: 11-3, No. 5 Postseason: State Class 3A champion
Outlook: The Wildecats graduated half their state title team but return a lot of strength at the skill positions, especially on defense. The line needs some rebuilding, but the Wildecats seem to reload every year with a squad of blue-collar players like the ones who came together in a big way last fall.
Coach: Rob Harris
Last season: 10-3, No. 3
Postseason: State Class 4A semifinalist
Outlook: The Bruins have come on strong the past two years with late wins over Old Mill, last year in the regional semifinals, but they graduated 36 players and 18 starters. Still, speed and talented skill players should keep the Bruins, under first-year coach Harris, in a tight Anne Arundel County race.
OTHERS CONSIDERED: Archbishop Curley (9-3, No. 13), City (7-3, unranked), Edmondson (6-4, unranked), Maryland Christian (13-0, unranked), North Harford (11-1, No. 9), South Carroll (11-1, No. 15), Westminster (6-4, unranked)