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Thomas Johnson


Coach: Ben Wright, eighth year

Assistant coaches: Rick Conner,Mike Day, Don Krolak, Dave Brown, Hal Grau, John Regis, Carlos Breckenridge, Tim Jones, Sonny Joseph

Last year's record: 6-4, 5-1 in the Central Maryland Conference

Top returnees: Seniors, linebacker Wayne Ambush, linebacker/guard Bruce Harrell, defensive end Jessie Williams, defensive end David Dailey, running back Phillip Flannery, flanker/kicker Darin Young, defensive back Ronnie Shankle, offensive tackle/defensive tackle Brian Ezzel

Top newcomers: Juniors, running back Seymour Davis, quarterback Dominik Novak, linebacker Stuart Quay

Coach's comments: "We're pretty strong defensively right now, butwe're a bit thin on the offensive and defensive lines. We got a lot of numbers but not a lot of (quality) depth. We don't have the superstar player. They've worked real hard and they have a good attitude. We've done well in a couple of scrimmages. We're probably a dark horse(for the CMC title)."

The Carroll County Sun's outlook: Like county mates Linganore and Frederick, the Patriots have a rough non-league schedule, with Class 2A power Middletown of Frederick County, Wootton of Montgomery County and Oakland Mills of Howard County in the first three weeks -- all state playoff teams last year. There are some holes to fill, for sure, but the Patriots also have a good nucleus of players returning. Wright said before last season that the Patriots had a good junior class, and that group will be the senior leaders this year. If this team can survive their tough preseason slate, the Patriots could be making their first trip back to the state tournament since 1982. One key for Thomas Johnson this season will be the early development of the front lines on both offense and defense.

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