As usual, the mighty Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference - still the premier league in the entire country -- has dominated the countdown of the top five boys lacrosse teams with St. Paul's, Severn, Calvert Hall and Boys' Latin coming in at Nos. 5 through No. 2, respectively.
It's time to see who is ranked No. 1 and considered the team to beat. The entire top 15 poll, along with the top players to watch, will be available online Saturday and the entire preview package will be in Sunday’s print edition of The Baltimore Sun.
Here's a look at No. 1 McDonogh:
Coach: Andy Hilgartner
Last season: 18-1, No. 1
Postseason: MIAA A champion
Outlook: Last season, the Eagles started the season at No. 1 and finshed there with an impressive wire-to-wire showing atop The Sun's top 15 poll. After falling to perennial power Bullis, 8-7, in a non-league game, they closed out the year with 12 straight wins and a perfect mark in league play. That's quite an accomplishment and a tough act to follow. But the Eagles once again have quality pieces to become the first MIAA A team to repeat as champions since Loyola Blakefield accomplished the feat with back-to-back crowns in 2007 and 2008. Nothing comes easy in the MIAA A, however. The Eagles do have six starters back and 19 varsity returnees with their trademark defense now led by All-Metro senior Brandon Shure and BJ Farrare dominating the middle of the field at long pole. Jack Parr becomes the focal point of the attack and there's a mix of returning players and newcomers to fill in some holes. The big question -- one that always comes up in the balanced MIAA -- is whether this senior class is a special one that can carry the leadership that was left behind by graduated All-Metro Player of the Year attackman Jackson Morrill and All-Metro defenseman Arman Medghalchi.