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Liberty's Sam Allen (R) celebrates his first-half goal with teammates Luis Lopez (L) and Jarod Keuther during a 4-3 overtime victory that secured the Lions the Carroll County boys soccer championship in the spring of 2021.
Liberty's Sam Allen (R) celebrates his first-half goal with teammates Luis Lopez (L) and Jarod Keuther during a 4-3 overtime victory that secured the Lions the Carroll County boys soccer championship in the spring of 2021. (Doug Kapustin / For Carroll County Times/Carroll County Times)

There’s been plenty of talent scattered throughout the Carroll County boys soccer scene the last few years. In 2019, Century won a state championship and Francis Scott Key made the state finals.

But it’s Liberty, which secured an unbeaten season during the spring, that has been the most consistent program of late. Under the guidance of coach Dave Abarbanel, who was named Carroll County Times Boys Soccer Coach of the Year in April and owns a 59-31-2 career record, the Lions have won four of the last six county championships.

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This fall, Liberty brings back two of its five All-County players from the spring campaign.

The road to another title, however, will be far from easy.

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South Carroll should be exciting to watch this fall with the return of first team All-County player Danny Caparotti, who led Carroll County in scoring with 21 points during the spring.

Westminster High players and new coach Jim Reigel will be playing with heavy hearts after the sudden passing of popular coach Bird Brown in late April.

Brown just finished his seventh season as Westminster’s boys soccer coach and his career record was 54-45-5. His team won the county championship in 2016.

Reigel worked with Brown during the 2015 and 2016 seasons and knows his team will dedicate the season to Brown.

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“They are a solid nucleus group of boys. They are a unit and they definitely work together and they play for each other and they are playing for the memory of Bird and there are no ifs or buts about that,” Reigel said.

The region quarterfinals will begin Oct. 26 and the state tournament finals will be held Nov. 18-20 at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

Manchester Valley and Westminster will play in the Class 3A East Region I.

Century, Liberty and Winters Mill play in the Class 2A West Region I and South Carroll and Francis Scott Key play in the Class 1A North Region I.

Century Knights boys soccer Head Coach Trey Howes holds the state championship trophy high as he and his team celebrate their 1-0 win over La Plata in their Class 2A state final at Loyola University in 2019.
Century Knights boys soccer Head Coach Trey Howes holds the state championship trophy high as he and his team celebrate their 1-0 win over La Plata in their Class 2A state final at Loyola University in 2019. (Matt Button / Baltimore Sun Medi / Carroll County Times)

Century

Coach: Trey Howes (3rd season)

Record last season: 2-4-2

Players to watch: Seniors Domenic Arena (M), Aydin Armstrong (M), Jake Hurst (M) and Colin Williams (M); junior Cooper Santos (F).

Kickoff: “We believe that we have the incoming players to address our skilled departures with a talented group of young men of high character. I am extremely excited for this season and to be given the opportunity to work with this group of players,” coach Howes said.

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Larry Haines (8th season)

Record last season: N/A

Players to watch: Seniors Griffin Garvis (M), Kyle Kramlick (G) and Keith Lapierre (D).

Kickoff: FSK will be led by 2020 first team All-County center midfielder Garvis and second team goalie Kramlick. “The Eagles have a lot of younger talent that just loves soccer. It’s fun to watch these guys practice and make each other accountable. A few new faces to the program will help the Eagles compete in 2021,” coach Haines said.

Francis Scott Key made it to the Class 1A state finals in 2019 before falling just short of the title against Mountain Ridge.

Liberty

Coach: David Abarbanel (8th season)

Record last season: 8-0

Players to watch: Senior Jarod Kuether (D/M); junior Sam Allen (M).

Kickoff: The Lions will be led by first team All-County selections Kuether and Allen. Allen had two goals last season, including one in an overtime victory over Westminster. Kuether finished with three goals. The Lions are 19-2-1 in the past two seasons after going 11-2-1 during the 2019 fall season. The Lions will try to overcome the loss of first team All-County selections Chimwemwe Chinkuyu (D), Ben Hiebler (M) and Drew McLaughlin (F). Hiebler was the Times spring 2021 Player of the Year and had five goals and eight assists, while McLaughlin scored seven goals.

Manchester Valley

Coach: John Woodley (2nd season)

Record last season: 3-5

Players to watch: Seniors Garrett Kane (M), Charles Metz (G), Maverick Mezaache (D), Carson Owings (D) and Ged Wilk (D); juniors Xavier Grogg (M), Logan Haines (D), Matt Hamm (F) and Carter Knox (M); sophomore Dayton Siegler (D).

Kickoff: “The 2021 Mavericks will be very competitive in every game. The team will be led by a number of very good student-athletes that are excited to return to the pitch for a traditional, full soccer season. I believe in 2021, Carroll County will showcase some of the best soccer teams Maryland has to offer,” coach Woodley said.

One of the big games on the schedule for the Mavericks is an away game against C. Milton Wright on Sept. 13. They will be playing without departed standouts Chad Petrick (first team All-County), Abram Castanzo (second team All-County) and Will Cellitto (second team All-County).

South Carroll

Coach: Ed Wharton (3rd season)

Record last season: 5-2-1

Players to watch: Seniors Daniel Caparotti (M), Garrett Fowble (D) and Camden Larson, (M).

Kickoff: Caparotti led Carroll County with eight goals and five assists in the spring. His was one of three first team All-County players in the spring for South Carroll and the only one of that group returning this season. Fowble had one assist and was a second team All-County selection along with Larson (two goals, five assists).

Westminster

Coach: Jim Reigel (1st season)

Record last season: 4-4

Players to watch: Seniors Tony Kunz (CB) and Carter Ruby (M); juniors Jimmy Gogol (M), Josh Lindenstruth (S), Ashton Stewart (S) and Riley Morsberger (G).

Kickoff: “I don’t think there is really any one star out of this group. It’s going to be interesting to see how they all come together when the dust settles,” Reigel said.

Westminster hosts Hereford in the team’s season opener on Friday, Sept. 3 (5:30 p.m.).

Winters Mill

Coach: Ryan Lenz (5th season)

Record last season: 2-2-4

Players to watch: Seniors John Alcorn (D), Manny Gavidia (G) and Ben Weller (M).

Kickoff: Gavidia was solid in goal in the spring with a 76% save percentage and Alcorn was a first team All-County selection and the team’s top scorer with five goals and one assist. Weller made the second team with two goals and two assists.

Gerstell Academy

Coach: Ashley Murphy (5th season)

Record last season: N/A

Players to watch: Senior Jackson Quenzer (M); juniors Brady Dillon (D), Kirkland Kilroy (D), and James Weber (D); sophomore Travis Smith (S).

Kickoff: “The Falcons have a young, talented soccer team. The boys are willing to work hard and push through adversity to reach their full potential on and off the pitch this fall season. I’m excited to lead the team in the pursuit of a C Conference championship this season, and to develop each boy on and off the pitch,” coach Murphy said.

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