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Howard County boys lacrosse senior spotlight

Members of the Howard County boys lacrosse senior class (clockwise from top left) Atholton's Nolan Krasnick, Centennial's Ty Sams, Glenelg's Mason Davis, Howard's Jeff Bruner, Marriotts Ridge's Andrew Luciano and Mt. Hebron's Mateo Brown.
Members of the Howard County boys lacrosse senior class (clockwise from top left) Atholton's Nolan Krasnick, Centennial's Ty Sams, Glenelg's Mason Davis, Howard's Jeff Bruner, Marriotts Ridge's Andrew Luciano and Mt. Hebron's Mateo Brown.

The announcement officially canceling the spring sports season for Maryland public schools as a result of the coronavirus pandemic means the realization of an unfortunate reality — the high school careers for an entire senior class of athletes has come to a premature end.

In the history books, there will be no county, regional or state champions for the 2020 spring season. All-County honors will not be awarded for the first time in decades.

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Still, the absence of athletic contests does not diminish the fact that the 2020 senior class of spring athletes merits recognition. With that in mind, we reached out to all of the area programs to get information on their respective senior classes.

We will be running the packages featuring each of the spring sports over the next week. Here is the release schedule:

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Thursday, May 21: Boys Lacrosse

Friday, May 22: Girls Lacrosse

Monday, May 25: Baseball

Tuesday, May 26: Softball

Wednesday, May 27: Tennis

Thursday, May 28: Track

BOYS LACROSSE

Winters Mill's Justin Hulse, left, ducks under a check by Atholton's Danny Florenzo during a boys lacrosse game at Atholton High School on Thursday, April 12.
Winters Mill's Justin Hulse, left, ducks under a check by Atholton's Danny Florenzo during a boys lacrosse game at Atholton High School on Thursday, April 12.(Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

With a class of 11 seniors, all entering at least their second year on varsity, Atholton had plenty of experience returning this spring. The group was headlined by returning captains Nolan Krasnick and Danny Florenzo, both recognized as All-County players in 2019. Krasnick (48 points last spring) is a midfielder and four-year starter who is headed to play in college at Mount St. Mary’s, while Florenzo is a three-year starter on defense.

Luke Marlowe and Ben Recht were seniors returning on attack, with midfield support coming from seniors Brian Tarantino (36 points in 2019), Luke Bowling and Corey Pumphrey. On defense, the senior quartet of Jon Bailey, Brandon Duke, Lucas Maggio and Ishan Singh were all preparing for expanded roles.

“This group of seniors will leave a definitive mark on the Atholton lacrosse program. They have paved the way for the future classes and have shown the meaning of commitment and passion,” Atholton coach Alex McCoy said. “During their tenure, they have been challenged to change the program and they have been overwhelmingly successful through their actions on and off the field. I am incredibly proud of each one of these young men, and I am excited to see what the future holds for each and every one of them.”

Centennial's Zach Grable (19) in action during a boys lacrosse playoff game between Centennial and Atholton.
Centennial's Zach Grable (19) in action during a boys lacrosse playoff game between Centennial and Atholton.(Daniel Kucin Jr. / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Centennial featured senior experience all over the field, with a trio players preparing for their fourth year on varsity.

Ty Sams, a midfielder (32 points in 2019) who is headed to play in college at Holy Cross, has been a part of the offense since his freshman year and made second team All-County last year. Zach Grable is a four-year starter on defense and Kieran Senisi, who will continue his lacrosse career at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, excelled as a four-year varsity long-stick midfielder.

Connor Carpenter, who registered 33 points last season, and Jackson Decarlo were senior returners on attack. In the midfield, Darian Avery, Chris Guerra, David Kim, Shawn Kruhm, Liam Sullivan and Zeyu Zhong combined for a variety of skills that included handling face-offs, locking down defensively, sparking transition and aiding the offense.

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Evan Keller and Jake Rower were both relatively new to their defensive positions but were each showing promising growth during the preseason.

“The 2020 senior class was an essential piece to Centennial’s success over the past three years,” Centennial coach Ken Senisi said. “There was a lot of amazing young talent in their 2017 freshman class, and they have has shown tremendous growth throughout their high school careers. They have experienced great achievements and also devastating losses, but the one thing that never changed was their commitment to one another and desire to get better every day.”

Chapelgate featured a small senior class, but the trio of Linc Sine, Tim Keller and Jeremy McNeal were all determined to make an impact from their defensive and midfield positions.

Sine, who scored the first goal of the 2020 season for the Yellowjackets, was coming off a season running cross country in the fall. Keller was the vocal leader of the defense, while McNeal was in his first year playing lacrosse after contributing on the basketball team.

Glenelg's Kyle Dry (12) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the 2A state semifinal boys lacrosse game between Glenelg and Hereford.
Glenelg's Kyle Dry (12) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the 2A state semifinal boys lacrosse game between Glenelg and Hereford.(Daniel Kucin Jr. / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Glenelg was coming off winning the 2A state championship in 2019, and coach Josh Hatmaker said this year’s team was eager to back up that performance.

“We were looking to go back and repeat this year, and I believe that we had the tools to get there,” Hatmaker said.

Of the 10 seniors on the roster, several played huge roles in last year’s title run. Mason Davis is a face-off specialist who had a 75.5 win percentage in the playoffs on his way to being named second-team All-County. Kyle Dry scored two goals in the state championship game and was dominant from his midfield position on both offense and defense. Drew Sotka, who will be playing football at William & Mary next year, is a shutdown defensive midfielder and Ethan Waksmunski was named captain as a leader on defense.

Other seniors for the Gladiators included short-stick defensive midfielder Liam Day, long-stick midfielder Ridgely Jones, attack Grant Kraemer, close defender Owen Peterson, midfielder Timmy Sweeney and midfielder Jason Perfater, who was a newcomer in the program from Chapelgate.

Glenelg Country goalie Brayden Franey guards the net in a boys lacrosse game against Archbishop Spalding.
Glenelg Country goalie Brayden Franey guards the net in a boys lacrosse game against Archbishop Spalding.(photo courtesy of Michele Fuhrman)

Glenelg Country had five seniors on its roster and was poised to continue the success of last year’s team that went 9-3 in the MIAA B Conference.

“This was a very special group of seniors and I am not just saying that. Each of them found unique roles on our team that complimented each-other well both on and off the field," Glenelg Country coach Kevin Boland said. "They really worked hard to establish a winning culture at GCS. Because of them there is a certain expectation and level of confidence that exists within our team that is here to stay. That to me is the best compliment you can give any senior class.”

Brayden Franey, a two-year captain, was a returning MIAA B Conference All-Star and started every single game at goalie for the Dragons since his freshman year. Ben Fuhrman was another captain as a close defender, showcasing great stick skills and understanding of team defense.

Matt Palmisano, Rohan Bhatnagar and Neal Fyock were all seniors in the midfield with a variety of roles. Palmisano registered 32 points as a junior, Bhatnagar had established himself as a face off specialist since joining the program as a sophomore, and Fyock had improved significantly as a defensive midfielder after joining the team with limited lacrosse experience last spring.

There were four seniors for Hammond this spring, two of whom were members of the lacrosse program for all four years of high school.

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Will Bradley and Kyle Bruce were both named as captains for the Golden Bears. Bradley was a leader on attack who also played soccer in the fall, while Bruce was named as the team’s defensive MVP last spring.

Ali Khalid and Connor Raley were both midfielders in their first year playing lacrosse for Hammond. As multi-sport standouts, both were picking things up quickly during the preseason.

“This group of seniors brought a lot of energy and leadership to our program, both on and off the field. In practice, I could always count on them to be doing the right thing and help the younger guys develop different aspects of their game,” Hammond coach Daniel Amacher said. “I know this group of young men have put their all into Hammond as a whole, being members of multiple sports teams, clubs, music programs, and they have each excelled in the classroom. They should all know that their efforts have not gone unnoticed and that they will be missed next year.”

Howard Lions Attack Colin Sutch scores a goal against the South Carroll Cavs at Howard High School.
Howard Lions Attack Colin Sutch scores a goal against the South Carroll Cavs at Howard High School.(Terrance Williams / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Howard had a squad featuring 14 seniors, hoping to build off a second straight region championship in 2019.

“They were a hungry group going into the 2020 season, and they felt like there was some ‘unfinished business’ to take care of this year after falling short a year ago in the state finals,” Howard coach Jimmy Creighton said. “It fueled their offseason work ethic, which was tremendous.”

Midfielders Jeff Bruner, Ethan Mitchell and Scott Trout were each team captains this spring for the Lions. Bruner, who finished with 54 points as a junior, is a two-time All-County selection committed to play at Salisbury University, while Mitchell, an honorable mention All-County pick in 2019, finished last spring with 81 ground balls and is committed to play at Hampton University. Trout was also honorable mention All-County last year, serving as a starting long-stick midfielder. He was second on the Lions with 49 caused turnovers.

Also in the midfield, CJ Burns, Will Drnach, Colin Hunter and Ryan Taylor were preparing for the second straight year on the varsity roster. Quinn Dunnigan was joining the midfield unit this year after playing tennis his first three years of high school.

Colin Sutch was a returning starter on attack, while Chandler Grimes was a newcomer to the program up top as a transfer in from Eleanor Roosevelt, where he led his team in goals in 2019.

Seth Trout was a starter on defense in 2019 for the Lions and was set to be the team’s starter in goal this year as a senior. The team’s defensive unit featured seniors Cole Carter, Tyler Guerke and Kyle Perry, as all three were set for their second season on varsity.

Long Reach's Jason Smith (11) looks to fire a shot during a high school boys lacrosse match between Long Reach and Wilde Lake.
Long Reach's Jason Smith (11) looks to fire a shot during a high school boys lacrosse match between Long Reach and Wilde Lake.(Daniel Kucin Jr. / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Long Reach was a senior-laden team this spring as well, featuring 14 seniors as coach Frank Valenza made his return to head coaching duties.

“We would have had one of the strongest teams that Long Reach has seen in many years. Our seniors are so focused this year,” Valenza said. “Our team mantra was ‘All In.’ They were all in. The best part of coaching is watching players grow and develop both on and off the field. This group of senior is the reason why I coach.”

Midfielders Jason Smith and Jonathan Park, along with Sam Gutelius and Angel Ochoa, were named co-captains. Smith was the team’s leading scorer last year with 31 points, while Park was right behind him. Gutelius is a two-year starter as the leader of the defense, while Ochoa was returning as a starter at goalie.

On attack, Sean O’Rourke was set for his second year on varsity, and Luke Morrison was preparing to contribute in his first year on the team.

Ifty Alam was going to be the face-off man for the Lightning, with Aren Jayachandran, Curtis Schlauch and Logan McDonald all expected to make contributions in the midfield.

Eric Benesch was the top long-stick midfielder for Long Reach. Benesch, along with Elijah Brown and Zach Brown on defense, would have been a starter for a second straight season. Jeffrey Sims was also expected to make an impact on defense.

Marriotts Ridge's Patrick Greene tries to clear the ball from his end of the field while being chased by Howard's Scott Trout. Marriotts Ridge takes a 5-1 win over visiting Howard Friday evening in Marriottsville
Marriotts Ridge's Patrick Greene tries to clear the ball from his end of the field while being chased by Howard's Scott Trout. Marriotts Ridge takes a 5-1 win over visiting Howard Friday evening in Marriottsville(Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Marriotts Ridge roster featured 11 seniors, seven of whom had been on varsity for at least three years.

“The group had great work ethic and were poised to contend to be one of the top teams in the 3A classification,” coach Tom Minard said. “We will miss seeing them on the lacrosse field and having them as positive role models in the program.”

Andrew Page, Andrew Luciano and Patrick Greene were all set for their fourth varsity seasons and were named as co-captains.

Greene, a defenseman, was a starter on the 2018 state title team and will play at Dickinson College next year. Luciano is a midfielder and face-off specialist who recovered from offseason back surgery and was set to build on a first-team All-County season as a junior. Page, a second-team All-County selection as a junior, is also a defender who started on the 2018 state championship squad.

Goalies Mitch Evans and Matt Cimerola are each four-year players in the program and were expected to split starting duties. Evans will play at Flagler College next year.

Tommy Ruddo, who will play at Lynn University next year, was coming off a second-team All-County season in 2019 when he scored 32 goals and had 16 assists. Sam Geiger was expected to also be a starter on attack in his fourth year with the program.

Jake Rosenbloom projected as a starting defender this spring, while Brendan Glover, Will Lee and Joe Neaman were all going to see significant time in the midfield.

Mt. Hebron's Garrett Snyder (6) races down the field past Marriotts Ridge defenders during a high school boys lacrosse match between Marriotts Ridge and Mt. Hebron on May 5, 2017.
Mt. Hebron's Garrett Snyder (6) races down the field past Marriotts Ridge defenders during a high school boys lacrosse match between Marriotts Ridge and Mt. Hebron on May 5, 2017.(Daniel Kucin Jr. / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The group of 10 seniors for Mt. Hebron featured plenty of experience, including a quartet of captains this spring in Mateo Brown, Grayson Fleck, Bryce Kampert and Garrett Snyder.

Brown is headed to play in college at UMBC and was a two-time All-County selection on attack, tallying 109 goals and 49 assists in his career. Snyder, meanwhile, is a three-time All-County selection who scored 89 goals and had 31 assists in his career, helping him earn a lacrosse scholarship to the University of Delaware.

Fleck was the Vikings’ top returning all-around defender with strong stick work, while Kampert, a three-sport athlete and four-year varsity player in the defensive midfield, finished fourth in the county last year with 94 ground balls.

Other strong senior defenders for Mt. Hebron were three-sport athlete Justin Cargiulo, vocal leader Jack Callaghan, James Morgan — one of the more physical presences on the team — and first-year varsity contributor Zach Graham.

Evan Carneal, who will be playing lacrosse at Howard Community College, and Joe Nolan rounded out the Vikings’ graduating group as a pair of two-way midfielders.

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“This team had very high potential this year. We had a solid core returning with strong leadership. There were aspirations of competing for county, regional and state championships,” Mt. Hebron coach Mike McCarthy said. "While we did not get the opportunity to compete on the field, I am so grateful to have had the time we did have together. This is a extraordinary group of young men that any coach would be happy to have on their team.

“The Class of 2020 will have as great of a legacy as any class we have ever had for what they have accomplished with the “Suit Up” challenge and raising over $50,000 for the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation. Sometimes life is not fair, but these young men achieved more during this pandemic than I ever could have imagined.”

Oakland Mills featured seniors in all areas of the field, with a particular amount of experience coming back on offense.

Alex Lee was a three-year varsity player on the team, finishing with 32 points last season. Over the course of his career, he had played defense, midfield and was slated to be a top member of the attack this spring. Kai Castle, the Offensive Player of the Year during football season, was also back as a starter on attack after registering 25 points in 2019. Didi Aturamu, in his first year on varsity, was also expected to contribute up top.

Papa Frempong and Peyton Thomas are both four-year members of the lacrosse program that were slated to start in the midfield. Thomas was a team captain.

On defense, Dominique McDuffie and Patrick McDuffie were each returning starters, while Ming Nelson was slated to contribute at goalie in his first year with the lacrosse program after making second team All-County for football as an offensive lineman in the fall.

Reservoir Gators Defensemen Michael Newell attempts to block shot by River Hill Hawks Attack Max Friedman at Reservoir High School.
Reservoir Gators Defensemen Michael Newell attempts to block shot by River Hill Hawks Attack Max Friedman at Reservoir High School.(Terrance Williams / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Of the eight seniors for Reservoir, three were returning as starters. Brennan Atkinson is a four-year varsity starter on defense who provided leadership. Also on defense, Michael Newell is a three-year starter who is headed to play at Howard Community College. Michael Gonzales, meanwhile, was preparing for his second season as a starter in the midfield.

James Hammer and Robert Reckner were each returners in the midfield, while Ethan Williams was back with the team on defense after taking a couple years off. Blake Cosner in the midfield and Ali Rajabi on defense were both first-year lacrosse players that were making immediate contributions in practice.

“Our senior class is a small but tremendous group with a mix of experienced student athletes and some who are new to the game,” Reservoir coach Bryan Cole said. “They have worked hard in the off-season and have showed tremendous leadership qualities.”

River Hill Hawks Midfielder Santiago Bryant (left) celebrates goal scored by Defensemen Christian Bond (right) at Reservoir High School.
River Hill Hawks Midfielder Santiago Bryant (left) celebrates goal scored by Defensemen Christian Bond (right) at Reservoir High School.(Terrance Williams / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

River Hill featured a strong senior class, with several multi-year starters heading to play lacrosse in college.

“[This] will be remembered as an outstanding and resilient group of young men,” River Hill coach Keith Gonsouland said. “This group played and competed to best of their ability throughout their four years despite being shorthanded at times. In addition, this group set a tone of accountability and complete selflessness that will last beyond this season.”

Christian Bond was a senior captain, starting on varsity all four years on defense and making second team All-County last year. He will play at Florida Palm Beach Atlantic University next year. Tyler Hopkins — the second-leading scorer on the team in 2019 (50 points) who is heading to play at Lynn University — and Jack Sheppard — who will also play at Florida Palm Beach Atlantic — were other four-year varsity players for the Hawks.

Tony Lazzari, a team captain heading to play at Mary Washington next year, and Nick Lazzari were each slated for big minutes at long stick midfielder. Ethan Brown is another four-year lacrosse player and is headed to play football and lacrosse at Susquehanna.

Other seniors for River Hill this spring were Anthony Behrmann, Santiago Bryant, Colin Butak, Ethan Peoples, Jimmy Reeves, Andrew Skalny, Liam Slade and Joseph Yang.

Wilde Lake's Jonathan Fontana (11) fires a quick, low shot for a goal during a high school boys lacrosse match between Long Reach and Wilde Lake.
Wilde Lake's Jonathan Fontana (11) fires a quick, low shot for a goal during a high school boys lacrosse match between Long Reach and Wilde Lake.(Daniel Kucin Jr. / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Wilde Lake had a senior trio of Jonathan Fontana, Nathan Cho and Jarrett Monah who were designated as captains and leaders for this year’s team. Fontana is a four-year starter in the midfield and on attack, finishing third among Howard County public school players last season with 75 points. Cho was set for his third year starting at goalie, while Monah was going to anchor the defense and also serve as a long-stick midfielder.

Other seniors were Adam Blair and Daniel Jackson in the midfield and on attack, along with new players to the program Jordan Murray (defense) and Antonio Harrison.

Among the highlights for this group of Wildecat seniors was winning the Columbia Cup in 2019, defeating Hammond, Long Reach and Oakland Mills. The win over the Scorpions came in overtime.

“The 2020 senior class have been incredible mentors and role models for the lacrosse underclassmen during their time in the program,” Wilde Lake coach Trevor Shea said. “They have each reached out to new players and shared their knowledge and experience with them. This class has helped us raise our level of competition in the program, and pushed everyone to be their best."

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