Howard County welcomes three new coaches this season.
At Glenelg, Steve Ballance takes over for Dave Boteler after four seasons.
Ballance, who has been with the Glenelg varsity since 2012, has been coaching high school, college and youth baseball for 15 years. He was a four-time all-county selection for Sparrows Point High School, where he played catcher, pitcher, third base and shortstop and still holds 11 offensive records. He previously was on the staff of the 2004 Centennial High School state championship team and was named the 2009 Maryland Junior College Coach of the Year after leading Anne Arundel Community College to the state championship with a record 39 wins. He also coached at Archbishop Curley.
Ballance is now the co-founder and co-owner of Dig In Baseball in Gaithersburg. He has coached 27 players who have gone on to play professional baseball.
"This is an underdog type team which I believe can and will over-achieve," Ballance said of the Gladiators. "This is a tight-knit, hard working, disciplined team, which enjoys learning and practicing everyday."
Glenelg head football coach Butch Schaffer and former head baseball coach Tom Thrasher are among Ballance's assistants.
Boteler led the Gladiators to a 39-29 league record during his four-year tenure (52-39 overall) twice advancing to the 2A South regional championship.
At Oakland Mills, Brian Rau has stepped down after two successful seasons to become the Athletics and Activities Manager at Wilde Lake. Rau was 20-14 in two seasons (28-16 overall) after Oakland Mills went 4-17 in 2011.
Rau's successor, Matt Sillers, previously was the head coach at Hammond in 2011. Sillers, who pitched for St. Vincent Pallotti and Frostburg University, is a history teacher at Hammond High School.
"I'm excited about this group of players and about OM baseball," Sillers said. "My guys are dedicated and willing to work hard everyday on and off the field. Our senior leadership is outstanding and will help us throughout the year. My coaching staff and I look forward to the season."
Sillers' assistants include Johnny Jackson, a former standout pitcher at Cardinal Gibbons and Stevenson University.
At Chapelgate, Justin Riggin steps down after three seasons, including a C Conference championship last spring, to join the coaching staff at his alma mater, CCBC - Catonsville.
In his tenure, Riggin led the Yellowjackets to a 28-25 overall record (18-8 conference) with two consecutive finals appearances, including last year's championship.
Jeremy Story is Chapelgate's new head coach. Story, who has a son in the eighth grade at Chapelgate, is a software engineer from California, where he played high school baseball and one year at junior college. He was a travel baseball coach before taking on the Chapelgate post.
"It's a program that I hope to build and grow," Story said. "The team worked hard in the offseason."
Story's assistant, Matt Siggins, was a standout pitcher at Chapelgate from 2005 to 2008 before going on to pitch for Frederick Community College and UMBC.