Brinton Valis

Eagles midfielder Brinton Valis (right) (Karl Merton Ferron / The Baltimore Sun / April 12, 2013)

The boys lacrosse season has started for the private schools, and the public schools will begin play on Friday. That means it’s time to start rolling out the projections for this season’s top teams.

In the coming days, Varsity Letters will count down the top-five teams. The area's preseason No. 1-ranked team will be posted Wednesday. The entire Top 15 poll, along with the top players to watch, will be available online Wednesday night and the entire preview package will be in Thursday's print edition.

Here’s a look at No. 5 McDonogh

Coach: Andy Hilgartner


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Last season: 14-4, No. 4

Postseason: Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinal

Top players: Brinton Valis, Sr., MF; Trey McGee, Sr., A; Robert Clark Jr., A; Alex Hurdle, Sr., D.

Outlook:  With a good chunk of last year’s roster back, the Eagles have the ingredients to make a significant run in the MIAA.

The catalyst is Johns Hopkins-bound Valis, who brings the dynamic skills  and nonstop intensity a team looks for in a leader. Coming off a 27-goal, 11-assist junior season, he added size and strength in preseason workouts.

The Eagles will score goals with McGee (Denver) and Clark both returning starters.

Hurdle (Notre Dame) is more than qualified to handle the opposing team’s top scoring threat and fellow senior Calvin Livingston (Towson) adds skill and experience on defense. Having graduated their goalie and top faceoff man, the Eagles will need to find capable replacements.

McDonogh also has to find a way to rise to the occasion when the playoffs come. The past three years, the Eagles have been one and done, including last year’s semifinal upset loss to eventual champion Loyola after earning the second seed.