Outlook: The Gladiators have reached the state tournament each of the past five years, winning three crowns. With a strong group back and newcomers looking to seize their opportunity, they plan to return.
Coach: Robin Grey
Last season: 13-3-1, No. 10
Postseason: Class 2A South semifinalist
Outlook: With a stingy defense and exceptional team speed, the Mustangs broke through with their first Howard title last season.
Coach: Mark Hannahs
Last season: 11-4, unranked
Postseason: Class 2A East semifinalist
Outlook: Stockpiled with seniors — 15 in all — and with some of their best talent being underclassmen, the Cougars can confidently use their bench with no drop-off.
12. River Hill
Coach: Brian Song
Last season: 14-3, No. 9
Postseason: Class 3A East finalist
Outlook: With their strengths on defense and up front, the youthful Hawks will be strong contenders if they can effectively replace some graduation hits at midfield.
13. Bryn Mawr
Coach: Tina Steck
Last season: 17-1-1, No. 12