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2018 high school football preview

2018 high school football preview
Aberdeen head coach Chris Matlack is one of four, first year head coaches in Harford County this Fall. The season gets underway tonight and tomorrow for all 11 county teams. (The Aegis file)

There are 11 high school football teams in Harford County and all 11 have been hard at practice to be ready for the 2018 season that begins for all this weekend.

See information about all teams here:

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Aberdeen

Head coach: Chris Matlack (first season)

2017 record: 3-7

Top returning players: Maurice Alviarez, Sr. (RB/SS); Anthony Johnson, Sr. (LB); Victor Santiago, Sr. (OL/DL); Kolade Ogunleye, Sr. (OL/DL); Steven George, Sr. (OL); Jahiem Wilson-Jones, So. (QB/DB/WR)

Key new players: Isryel Crane, Jr. (OL/DL); Chris Nieves, Sr. (FB/LB); Jordan Jenkins, Jr. (DB/WR); Nygel Diggs, Jr. (RB/SS); David Blackwell, So. (FS/WR); Tommy Fisher, Fr. (RB/DE)

Outlook: “We are very small in numbers, but you know what?... to me It doesn’t matter,” Matlack said. “We’re just going to be better conditioned, we’re gonna have to play hard, we’re gonna have to play both sides. Some guys are gonna have to be both sides of the ball, playing a little ironman football.”

Bel Air

Head coach: David Huryk (ninth season)

2017 record: 5-5

Top returning players: Davon Bomar, Sr. (DE/TE); Hunter Hruz, Sr. (RB/DB); Stephen Thompson, Sr. (LB); Noah Alexander, Sr. (LB); Jake Rolocut, Sr. (OL/DL); Sincere Montgomery, Sr. (RB/DB); Justin O'Bannon, Jr. (OL/DL)

Key new players: N/A

Outlook: “We return 18 starters from last year’s team and hope to be competitive within our very difficult UCBAC schedule,” Huryk said. “This group of young men has come together and are excited to compete as a unit.”

C. Milton Wright

Head coach: Joe Pino (first season)

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2017 record: 7-4

Top returning players: Chris Wagner, Sr. (OT); Chris Moreno, Jr. (RB); Kam Brown, Sr. (WR); Alex Hardy, Sr. (LB); Hunter Zigler, Sr. (DB)

Key new players: Anthony Riportella, Jr. (WR); Ben Martin, Jr. (QB)

Outlook: CMW lost a large senior class that led the team to the playoffs, so it is a rebuilding year. The Mustangs have new systems on both sides of the ball, with new offensive and defensive coordinators. “It is a season that CMW has to focus on the fundamentals and has to focus on getting better everyday,” Pino said.

Edgewood

Head coach: Charles Johnson (second season)

2017 record: 8-4

Top returning players: Deonte Banks, Sr. (DB/H); Antwain Banks, Sr. (QB/DB); Anthony Blume, Sr. (DL/OL); Daviyon Johnson, Sr. (DL/OL); Monzell Ware, Sr. (DB/WR)

Key new players: Keyon Brown, Jr. (DB/WR)

Outlook: This year, the Rams are filling multiple holes on both sides of the ball. The strength will be the secondary on defense and run game on offense. “We are looking at vastly improving at linebacker since we lost two key starting linebackers to graduation. Rotating our linebackers based on their skillset and scheme will be key for us until we find our permanent starters,” Johnson said. At quarterback, Antwain Banks is back to command the offense. “He will be a lot better now that he has another year at QB under his belt. Antwain has worked very hard in the offseason to make better reads and anticipate defensive coverages,” Johnson said.

Fallston

Head coach: Jimmy Grant (first season)

2017 record: 3-7

Top returning players: Colin Akins, Sr. (QB); Jimmy Johnson, Sr. (WR/S); Ian Keller, Sr. (OG/DT); Alex Baily, Sr. (WR/DB); Nick O'Neal, Sr. (OT/DE)

Key new players: Brandon Klaben, Jr. (RB/LB); Nick Curry, So. (WR/DB); Caleb Turner, So. (RB/DB); Seth Strang, Fr. (DT/OT)

Outlook: “Guys are working really hard and our attitude has been great. However, we are a really small roster with just 27 on varsity,” Grant said. “It will be imperative that we avoid injuries and continue to improve on a daily basis if we want to compete in our league. So far the attitude and work ethic have been a great start for us.”

Harford Tech

Head coach: Tim Palmer (second season)

2017 record: 12-1

Top returning players: Charles Brown, Sr. (DE/FB); Jalen Dangerfield, Sr. (RB/DB); Ryan Hunt, Jr. (QB); Jerimiah Minter, Sr. (WR/CB); Laday Cooper, Sr. (WR/CB); Zach Pippen, Sr. (OL/LB); Brandon Fletcher, Jr. (OL/DL); Logan Selig, Jr. (OL/DL); Jonathan Fletcher, Jr. (DE); Ike Udolisa, Sr. (OL/DL); Keith Green, III, Sr. (WR/LB)

Key new players: Eddie Medina, Jr. (FB); Jalil Cooper, Jr. (RB); Bryan Wall, Jr. (DL/HYB); Curtis McKisset, Jr. (TE/LB); Khoury Harris, Jr. (TE/LB); Tyler Long, Jr. (K)

Outlook: Trying to sustain a winning program that historically was not used to that level of success is a challenge, particularly with the losses of key 2018 graduates such as Kyle Ciccone, Jasper Halsey, Jordan Bright and Miles Walton. But, by returning a large contingent of young players who had to perform at a high level last year along with some outstanding players who come up from the junior varsity team, gives this program a positive outlook on this season. By returning an amazing coaching staff with some key additions, Harford Tech is looking to be a team to contend with.

Havre de Grace

Head coach: Brian Eberhardt (third season)

2017 record: 11-2

Top returning players: Jordan White, Sr. (WR/S); Alex Gresock, Sr. (QB); Jesse Fenner, Sr. (C/LB); Josh Mergler, Sr. (LB)

Key new players: Brandon Rabbit, Jr. (Ath); Tanner Thompson, Jr. (OL/DL); Keishawn Torres, Jr. (DL); Tom Meehan, Jr. (WR/S)

Outlook: The Warriors graduated key seniors on both sides of the ball and will need new leadership and younger players to continue to develop in order to be competitive in a tough UCBAC Chesapeake Division.

John Carroll

Head coach: Ken Brinkman (first season)

2017 record: 6-4

Top returning players: Ben Blessing, Sr. (OL/DL); Will Giannelli, Sr. (QB); Darrius Lloyd, Sr. (OL/LB); Tanner Tipton, Sr. (OL/DL); Dominic Strain, Sr. (WR/DB); Chimzi Chuku, Sr. (RB/OLB); CK Nsikak, Sr. (DL/OL); Anthony Palmere, Sr. (WR/LB); Caleb Atabong, Jr, (RB/OLB); Malik Scott, Jr. (WR/DB); Austin Brinkman, Jr. (WR/DB)

Key new players: Roman Hemby, So. (WR/DB); Braden Clark, Jr. (OL/DL); Isaac Myers, Sr. (H/LB); Hunter Tipton, Sr. (WR/DB); Alex Hau, Jr. (OL/DL); Dominic Berdnt, Jr. (WR/LB); Jalen Bryant, So. (WR/DB); Scott Smith, So (QB); Nick Ray, So (OL/DL)

Outlook: The Patriots are coming off a successful 2017 season, in which they finished 6-4 and competed in every game. “I am looking forward to the 2018 season for our players. The guys have been working hard all offseason since we began training in the weight room in the winter and our summer conditioning program,” Brinkman said. There are a number of positions to be replaced due to graduation. “We have 10 seniors that we will look to help lead our team into the season, along with 15 underclassmen that will be counted upon in may positions to help make this season successful,” Brinkman said. “Our numbers are low on the varsity, but we have an abundance of talent at all of the positions on both sides of the ball that we will rely on to control the game and provide pressure on our opponents on the defensive side of the ball.”

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Joppatowne

Head coach: James A. Murray (second season)

2017 record: 0-10

Top returning players: Christopher Kalambihis, Jr. (OL/DL); William Harris, Jr. (RB/LB); Alan Brown, Jr. (QB/DB); Jaylen Jones, Jr. (WR/LB); Jamaal Chase, Sr. (RB/LB); Julian Young, Jr. (OL/DL)

Key new players: Shyeim Taylor, Sr. (WR/DB)

Outlook: Joppatowne is eager to bounce back following a tough 2017 campaign. “Still young, but this year we should be much better in the trenches. We will be thin in numbers again this season but we already have a different feel about this 2018 team,” Murray said. There are three key returners on the line (Kalambihis, Young and Fola Kolawole) and all have had impressive summer camps and look to add toughness to the 2018 Mariners. “Lack of depth may be our Achilles heel, but we look to counter that with mental toughness, good coaching and dedicated student-athletes,” Murray said.

North Harford

Head coach: Gene Liebel (fifth season)

2017 record: 4-6

Top returning players: Dalton Battaglia, Sr. (WR/DB); Andy Bland, Sr. (OL); Josh Blosser, Sr. (DE); Bobby Duffy, Jr. (WR/LB); Rob Fife, Sr. (OL); Paul Keeney, Sr. (WR/DB); Sam MacAtte, Sr. (WR/DB); Jacon Preston, Sr. (QB); Robby Richardson, Sr. (LB)

Key new players: Eli Bigelow, So. (OL/DL); Kevin Halford, So. (OL/DE); Anthony Holmes, Jr. (RB/DE)

Outlook: Twenty seniors return to the Hawks team this season, five returning starters on offense and six returning starters on defense. “We also return two juniors who started games last year as sophomores,” Liebel said. “We have a great group of players who are working hard to try and make this a successful season.”

Patterson Mill

Head coach: Steve Lurz (fifth season)

2017 record: 3-7

Top returning players: Nathan Vujanic, Jr. (QB); Christian Pross, Jr. (WR/S); Chris Blackwell, Jr. (WR/CB); Corben Jones, Jr. (OT/DE); Mike Wesolowski, Jr. (OG/DT); Evan Ehly, Sr. (TE/DE)

Key new players: N/A

Outlook: “With a 3-7 season behind us on a very sophomore led team, we are looking to improve to a winning record and make a push to the 1A playoffs,” Lurz said.

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