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Winters Mill's defense blocks up South Carroll's Adam McCarty during their regional playoff game in 2018.
Winters Mill's defense blocks up South Carroll's Adam McCarty during their regional playoff game in 2018. (Ken Koons / Carroll County Times)

CENTURY

Coach: Jeremy Benson, 4th year

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Last year’s record: 9-6, 5-1 county

First game: March 21 vs. Franklin, 6:30

Key losses: Luke Asher, Brian Maurantonio, Chris Yanchoris

Key returners: Alex Kristian, junior MF; Charlie Hackett, senior MF; Brett Kropinski, senior MF; Jalen Stanton, senior MF; Adam Zimmerman, senior GK

Outlook: The Knight return seven of 10 starters, but look to replace a three-time first-team all-county goalie in Yanchoris. Benson said via email Century’s squad is filled with three- and four-year varsity players. Kropinski led the team in scoring (24 goals, 17 assists) last spring. “With experience at this level there is more of an expectation of excellence and constant competitive energy,” Benson said.

FRANCIS SCOTT KEY

Coach: Butch Fitzgerald, 2nd year

Last year’s record: 5-10, 0-6 county

First game: March 26 at St. James, 4:30

Key loss: Colin Tucker

Key returners: Dalton Gladden, senior A; Kyle Joeflich, senior D; Cole LaPierre, junior A

Outlook: Fitzgerald said via email the Eagles want to build off some of the success they enjoyed late last season. They should get a boost with the return of LaPierre (40 goals, 19 assists) and Gladden (20, 16), each coming off a second-team all-county season in 2018. “With the majority of the attack and defense returning, FSK is striving for consistency throughout the spring,” Fitzgerald said.

GERSTELL

Coach: Mike Flemming, 1st year

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Last year’s record: 11-7

Next game: March 26 at Archbishop Curley, 4:30

Key losses: Noah Betz, Laz Friedberg, Seth Higgins, Michael Ippolito, Brian Warehime

Key returners: Kade Arnold, sophomore D; Malachi Darden, senior MF; Drew Huber, sophomore A; Declan Keeney, senior MF; CJ Kovalsky, junior A

Three things to watch for Carroll County boys lacrosse in 2019.

Outlook: Flemming, the former longtime boys coach at Liberty, takes over for Sean Todd after a six-year run that included last year’s B Conference crown. The Falcons’ offense lost a pair of stalwarts in Higgins (40 goals, 54 assists) and Ippolito (55 30). Higgins transferred to St. Paul’s; Ippolito graduated. “We are a young team looking to build on Coach Todd’s success,” Flemming said via email.

LIBERTY

Coach: Josh Burchett, 1st year

Last year’s record: 8-7, 3-3 county

First game: March 21 at Walkersville, 6:30

Key losses: Kevin Lynch, Noah Rohrer

Key returners: Derek Baldwin, junior MF; Eli Carpenter, senior GK; Chris Darminio, senior D/LSM; Roberto Ortiz, senior MF

Outlook: It’s a young group, with just eight seniors, and a first-year coach. But Burchett said via email the Lions have the opportunity to get significant contributions from a lot of different spots. Baldwin, Darminio, and fellow senior Ryan Luthe will assume captain roles for Liberty. Rohrer led the Lions in scoring last spring with 38 points (29 goals, 9 assists).

MANCHESTER VALLEY

Coach: John Piper, 10th year

Last year’s record: 9-7, 4-2 county

First game: March 21 vs. Catonsville, 6:30

Key losses: Thomas Allen, Adam Bien, Ian Chapman, Carter Cigrang, Lukas Knight, Jake Lankford, Riley Larrimore, Dan Melville, Adam Sheely, Brandon Smith

Key returners: Ben Barnes, senior GK; Garrett Boerner, junior A/MF; Grant Boerner, junior A/MF; Justin Greenwell, senior M MF; Owen McCallum, senior A; Chad Schaffer, junior MF; Reese Small, senior MF; Cody Upman, senior A

Outlook: The Mavericks lost a two-time first-team all-county pick in Larrimore, was finished second on the team in scoring a year ago (54 points on 31 goals, 23 assists). Piper graduated more than a handful of contributors, but he returns McCallum after the attackman led MV in scoring with 56 points (28, 28) in 2018. “We will be competitive as we continue to build on last year’s success and replace key losses offensively and defensively,” Piper said via email.

SOUTH CARROLL

Coach: Brad Widner, 4th year

Last year’s record: 5-10, 2-4 county

First game: March 21 at Linganore, 7

Key losses: Lorenzo Brandani, Jacob Snell

Key returners: Drew Downing, junior MF; Brett Finzel, senior MF; Evan Hock, senior GK; TJ Hogan, senior D; Adam McCarty, senior A

Outlook: McCarty is back after a first-team all-county junior year (32 goals, 20 assists), and he’ll be one of the Cavaliers’ cogs on offense. South Carroll’s 2018 season ended with heartbreak, an overtime playoff loss to county rival Winters Mill. “The Cavs return great leadership this season and hope to be a strong competitor in the county,” Widner said via email.

WESTMINSTER

Coach: Steve DeFeo, 9th year

Last year’s record: 18-1, 6-0 county

First game: March 22 at Damascus, 7

Key losses: Matthew Banks, Brandon Kim, Alec Kozlowski, Patrick Stewart

Key returners: Chase Buckwalter, senior MF; Connor Covey, junior MF; Christian Etchison, senior MF; Jayden Hull, senior D/MF; Bubba Love, senior A; Evan Park, junior MF

Outlook: Reloaded and ready to go, the Owls return the reigning Times Player of the year in Etchison (36 goals, 30 assists) in the midfield. Love (58 goals) leads a potent attack, with an addition in Winters Mill transfer Justin Hulse. and four-year varsity player Buckwalter (30 goals, 32 assists) gives the midfield another weapon along with Covey. Senior Andrew Burns should be one of the point men on defense, with help from Hull and seniors Noah Baugher and Gavin Bloom.

WINTERS MILL

Coach: Darian Meador, 1st year

Last year’s record: 6-11, 1-5 county

First game: March 22 at Eastern Tech, 3:45

Key losses: Brian Deckleman, Justin Hulse

Key returners: Brady Maguire, junior A; Jansen Pusateri, senior D; Kaden Ross, senior MF; Reid Stewart, senior A

Outlook: The Falcons have a new coach in Meador, and they return their top scorers from 2018 in Ross (51 points on 35 goals, 16 assists) and Stewart (41 points, 32 goals). Pusateri is coming off a first-team all-county season and is WM’s anchor on defense. He helped Winters Mill win two playoff games in overtime last spring. Plus, sophomore goalie Jax Francisco comes over Gerstell after being part of the MIAA B championship. “New year, new team, new attitude,” Meador said via email.

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