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MSA A Conference


* Cardinal Gibbons (4-6) -- The Crusaders' success will depend on the powerful legs of TB Eugene Marshall. The 6-1, 185-pound senior gained 1,122 yards last season and will be counted on to lead the offense again. Senior WB Damon Fleary and sophomore QB Rocky Keener are other bright spots. Just 20 players are suiting up.

* Calvert Hall (4-6) -- After last season's disappointing record, coach Bill Mackley is hoping for big things. Twenty players return, including a big defensive line and 6-3, 200-pound QB Luther Alexander. A weakness could be the inexperienced offensive line.

* City College (5-5) -- It may be a trio of juniors that leads City this season. QB Terrance Suber, FB Antonio Travers and OG Shawn Scott had productive seasons as sophomores. The question is on defense, where 9 starters graduated.

* Forest Park (7-3) -- After losing 16 seniors from last year's squad, coach Obie Barnes thought he might have to start at square one. What he found, instead, was a talented group of underclassmen. Leading the offense this year will be RB Rentate Sterrette. He is a capable open-field runner who could be Division I caliber. The defense seems to be solid, especially against the run. The large defensive line includes 270-pound Lonnie Smith, 255-pound Bryant Bethea and 340-pound Eric Conaway.

* Gilman (7-2) -- The Greyhounds will be rebuilding after losing 31 of 40 players to graduation. There are 12 seniors on the 40-man roster, and only 4 are returning starters. The team will have to build around its best asset -- the defensive line led by James Guyton and Sammy Mir. The weakness will be at the skilled positions. The Greyhounds don't have a player who ran, passed or caught the football last year on varsity. RB/LB Victor Carter-Bey is a standout.

* Lake Clifton (9-1) -- The Lakers won the MSA B Conference last season and could surprise in their new conference. More than 100 players showed up for summer practice, and coach David White was able to fill his depth charts with quality players. Among them are TB Printice McNair and TE Derrick Smith. The key to the team is its defense. Most of the linemen from last year's team have graduated.

* Loyola (8-2) -- With a good nucleus returning, the Dons have the potential for another big year. QB Bill Evans, a starter last season, is considered a dangerous runner and has improved his passing. He will hand off to speedy and experienced RB Brad Hoag, who gained 892 yards a year ago. FB Mark Lafferty also returns, along with OT David Bright and OT Grant Pivec. Coach Joe Brune says this team could be hard to beat once it finds a leader.

* McDonogh (1-9) -- First-year coach Mike Working pulled out all the stops in preseason in an attempt to turn around this team. The former college and pro coach put his players through a 9-day, NFL-style training camp, a crash course in football and teamwork. Though that may not be enough to spark the team to a winning season, it could give the Eagles the confidence to stay competitive. Co-captains are J.J. Miller (WR/LB) and Derrick McCoy (FB/LB).

* Mount. St. Joseph (0-9) -- Tim Perry, a former assistant at Calvert Hall, is the new coach. Perry says that the real strength of this team may be his players' good attitude and desire to win. The Gaels will use a balanced attack led by QB Brett Campbell. He should have good protection behind a veteran line anchored by 6-1, 222-pound T Gary Floyd. The defense is led by LB Damion Toliver.

* Poly (9-1) -- Coach Augie Waibel believes the secondary, which lost 3 All-Metro players to graduation, could be a weak point. It could be the Engineers' only weak point. Poly brings back a solid team all around, including WB Omar Nixon and TB William Boyd, the keys to an offense that likes to run. Aside from the secondary, the defense, which features the most returning players, is a strong suit.

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