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Century

Coach: Trey Howes, 1st year

2018 record: 10-3, 4-2 county

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First game: Sept. 6 vs. Thomas Johnson (at Frederick HS)

Key losses: Dylan Hairfield, Kevin Hooton, Aiden Lovelace, Sterling Mead, Mason Motter, Brian Wallace

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Key returners: Joe Bergamaschi, senior D; Brennan Deibel, senior D; Jackson Glenn, senior MF; Alex Grasso, senior MF; Connor Grow, senior MF; Stephen Hurst, senior D; Kyle Kropfelder, senior F; Ryan Rolfes, senior F

Outlook: The Knights lost several contributors from 2018, including a top scorer in Motter (4 goals, 3 assists). But Rolfes (7 goals) and Grasso (4, 2) return, and Century has a veteran group set to man the back line despite losing their goalie from last fall in Wallace. “We have a great group of seniors mixed with a great group of younger kids that should allow us to be competitive in and out of the county,” Howes said via email.

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Larry Haines, 6th year

2018 record: 4-8-1, 1-5 county

First game: Sept. 6 at St. Paul’s

Key losses: Brandon Bimestefer, Mason Hale, Preston Jones

Key returners: Jacob Lamb, senior D; Jakub Mihulka, senior MF; Nathan Perry, senior GK

Outlook: Haines said via email he’s got the most experienced group of Eagles since he took over as their coach. Jones scored seven goals last fall, and Bimestefer netted four, but look for FSK to fill the void with Mihulka (2 goals, 3 assists in 2018) roaming the midfield. “We have very high expectations even with a small squad,” Haines said. “and it will show once we get to work.”

Liberty

Coach: Dave Abarbanel, 6th year

2018 record: 7-7-1, 1-5 county

First game: Sept. 10 vs. Bel Air

Key losses: Nick Duvall, Anthony Goad, Justin Ricketts

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Key returners: Shane Ervin, senior D/MF; James Myers, senior D/MF; Anjan Singh, senior GK

Outlook: A second-half surge got Liberty back to .500 last fall, and having Ervin back from a first-team all-county 2018 season helps. Ervin led the Lions with 6 goals and 15 points. Singh is up to take the spot of Ricketts, who had an 84.2 save percentage last year. “We have a good mix of returning players and newcomers,” Abarbanel said via email. “We are looking to build upon our second-half success of last season.”

Manchester Valley

Coach: Andrew Harrell, 4th year

2018 record: 11-3, 6-0 county

First game: Sept. 6 vs. Middletown (at Frederick HS)

Key losses: Connor Allen, Adam Bowersox, Chase Estes, Declan Marvel, Colin Shaneybrook

Key returners: Abram Castanzo, junior MF; Joey Hamm, senior D; Brayden Safley, senior F; Dan Sanders, senior GK

Outlook: There are still pieces remaining from last year’s CCAL championship team, but the Mavericks are replacing nine starters and their top three scorers from last year in Allen (10 goals, 7 assists), Estes (7, 11), and Grant Scibek (9, 6). Hamm is moving to defense after becoming MV’s regular goalie last fall (58 saves). “We have good group of athletes that love to compete and are ready for the big challenges ahead,” Harrell said.

South Carroll

Coach: Ed Wharton, 1st year

2018 record: 9-6, 3-3 county

First game: Sept. 9 at Long Reach

Key losses: Alex Baca, Gavin Baker, Aidan Moffatt, Nick Simoncini

Key returners: Carter Chesney, senior F; Ezana Kebede, senior D; Dylan Youmans, senior MF; Jacob Wenczkowski, senior D

Outlook: Wharton, a longtime assistant and JV coach, is in for Tim Novotny after Novotny replaced Jim Horn as South Carroll’s AD. Losing Simoncini means losing last year’s county leading scorer, but the Cavaliers are ready to reload with Chesney (10 goals, 3 assists) up top and a defense that crafted five shutouts a year ago. Wharton said the program has always had high expectations, and “these kids, as do I, have every intention of keeping it that way.”

Westminster

Coach: Robert “Bird” Brown, 6th year

2018 record: 10-6, 3-3 county

First game: Sept. 6 vs. Catonsville (at Catonsville HS)

Key losses: Nate Burnett, Mitch Clark, Kyle Funka, Nik Haldorsen, Jon Moore, Mike Mourelatos

Key returners: Tyler Buberl, senior D; Cam Doolan, junior MF; Thomas Funka, junior D; Noah Roche, MF/F

Outlook: Westminster lost four first-team all-county performers to graduation in Burnett, Clark, Moore, and Mourelatos, along with their leading scorer in Haldorsen (10 goals, 1 assist). Brown said the Owls’ success hinges on their ability to jell. “I’m excited to be working with the boys and have been very satisfied with their preparation and practice efforts thus far,” he said.

Winters Mill

Coach: Ryan Lenz, 3rd year

2018 record: 8-7, 3-3 county

First game: Sept. 7 vs. Walkersville (at Oakdale HS)

Key losses: Martin Bastida, Josh Kappes, Will Wilt

Key returners: Justus Denning, senior D; Jack Mitzelfelt, senior, MF; Ed Romero, senior MF

Outlook: Romero is back for one final season after finishing 2018 as one of the top scorers in Carroll, but the Falcons will be dealing with the loss of a perennial all-county keeper in Kappes. Denning (4 goals) and Mitzelfelt (4 goals, 3 assists) each chipped in on offense last year. “We’re having a lot of fun right now with the old leading the new,” Lenz said, “and we hope to continue that trend throughout the season.”

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