CALVERT HALL travels to Centennial on Sept. 21. The No. 1 ranking in The Baltimore Sun Top 20 very well could be decided that day. The Eagles of Howard County gain the slimmest of edges over Calvert Hall in this new preseason poll, initially set up by the staffs of The Sun and The Evening Sun.
Howard, Oakland Mills, Atholton and Wilde Lake are expected to chase Centennial in the Howard County race, while Loyola should be Calvert Hall's main threat in Division II of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference. Archbishop Curley and Mount St. Joseph will be challenged by McDonogh in Division I.
With Patterson having moved up to the A Conference, Mount Carmel, Poly, Park and Lutheran appear strongest in the B Conference.
In Baltimore County, Perry Hall, Franklin and Dulaney will battle for Class 4A/3A division honors, while Overlea, Hereford, Loch Raven and Towson appear the teams to beat in the 2A/1A division.
In Anne Arundel County, Broadneck and Severna Park, respectively, are the favorites in the Friendship and Bay divisions. Glen Burnie and Old Mill will push Severna Park, while South River and possibly Arundel will chase Broadneck.
In Harford County, Fallston and C. Milton Wright should be the top contenders, followed by Joppatowne and Bel Air. Liberty looks like the team to beat in Carroll County.
Here's The Baltimore Sun Top 20 for 1991, with last year's records in parentheses.
@1 Centennial (11-2-1)
* Many coaches believe the Eagles are the team to beat this season, even if coach Bill Stara still has not settled on a starting the last six seasons.
2 Calvert Hall (15-3-1)
* The Cardinals are deep and strong and led by four-year starter J.J. Kremer, an All-Metro midfielder, and three-year starter Bryan Bugarin, an All-Metro striker (18 goals last season). Keeper Larry Rohleder, sweeper Mike Barger, a midfielder last fall, and back Adam Eagan are seniors with two seasons of experience. Junior Todd Perkins is back for his third season. Sophomore Jeremy Baker had 11 goals last season. Add to this equation an unbeaten junior varsity squad from 1990 and the grin just gets bigger on the face of coach Bill Karpovich. The Cardinals should rule the MSA A Conference again, a title they have held in five of the last six seasons.
3 Oakland Mills (13-2)
* The Scorpions win state titles in even years (1986, 1988, 1990), and they may be a year away again, but coach Don Shea will field a competitive team that boasts three Olympic Development under-19 standouts: forward Lopeka Trout, midfielder Sean Gorman and stopper back Jeff Mascott. He'll use sophomore Brent Mascott on the back line and work three freshmen into the lineup: Keith Murphy, Mike Jenkins and Kevin Gartner. Three-year letterman Henry Roh will run with Trout up front and Teddy Lawler adds experience at midfield. Look for the Scorpions to get better as the season unfolds and, if they get a break or two, steal a playoff berth. It won't be easy.
@4 Severna Park (10-3)
* The Falcons of coach Don Gregg return a solid nucleus of experienced seniors, including keeper Jason Zaks, sweeper Steve Neuberger, stopper Jamie Cornett, back Kevin Schultz, midfielder Michael Crawford, and striker Brian Peterson, who has had 30 goals and 12 assists in three seasons. Junior midfielders Mark Casper and Ryan Voegtlin both came up to the varsity late last season from the five-time junior varsity county champions. Senior Kenny Taylor was a part-time starter at midfield and senior John Denman was a reserve back last fall. Gregg will use Danish transfer Peter Joergensen, a junior, to run up front with Peterson.
5 Howard (11-1-1)
* Coach Rudy Storch welcomes back only two starters, defender Jarrod Moreland and midfielder Jason Yancey. He does have a solid freshman in Mike Bagrosky to bolster the defense along with senior keeper James Morrow and senior sweeper Mark Osterman. "We won't go down easily," says Storch. "We're young, but tough."
6 Broadneck (9-3-4)
* The Bruins graduated nine players off their state Class 4A finalist squad, but coach Kevin McMullen believes last year's reserves are ready to strut their stuff. Three starters return in sweeper Dave Apple, midfielder Jeff Vincent and striker Matt Weimer. Senior Mark Patrick will play stopper with John Hanna and Brendan Collins as wing backs. Senior Josh Jefferds will play striker, while Andy Ryan, Aaron Reinhart and one of four juniors will join Vincent on the midfield. Senior leadership is a plus, but a proven scorer must emerge to replace Rich Aftoora, the Bruins' all-time goal scorer. The Bruins get a slight edge over Severna Park for the preseason favorite role in the Anne Arundel County Class 4A race.
7 Atholton (12-3-1)
* Coming off a state Class 2A championship season, coach Reg Hahne returns 10 lettermen, including senior striker Tony Dedmond (15 goals, 11 assists) and senior midfielder David Kelley. Senior James Waddy and junior Alex Denno return to anchor the defense. Juniors Eric Black, Scott Sauber and sophomore Tim Whitcome should help Dedmond with scoring, so Hahne is optimistic despite an upgraded schedule that includes Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Loyola and Kennedy, plus the Raiders' Howard County rivals.
8 Loyola (12-6-1)
* Thirteen lettermen return for coach Jim Calborn, including backs Paul Speargas, Pat McGuire and Jordan Davis. Junior keeper Dave Svehla is out with a knee injury, but freshman reserve Brian Zeller is very capable until Svehla returns. Seniors Greg Foti (eight goals, two assists) and Mike Gately, a converted forward, will anchor the midfield. Senior Mike Tall (16 goals, four assists) runs at striker with experienced juniors Mike Pastore and Luke Golueke.
9 Curley (11-4-1)
* The Friars have a host of experienced players returning, including keeper George Mayer, sweeper Don Darmsteadt, stopper Chris Ivins, midfielders Franco Pastore, Jim Virtz and Jeff Merryman, and forward Anthony Celenza (18 goals, seven assists). Junior Josh Southerland and sophomore Chris Shanahan move up from the junior varsity with strong credentials on the back line. Forwards Jason Gabrish and Drew Kowelezicz also were key performers for the junior varsity last season. "The nucleus is there," said coach Tom Perella. "We expect to reach the finals where anything can happen."
10 Wilde Lake (4-8)
* Three transfers, two national team players and a drop to Class 1A have the Wildecats talking championship again. They have not won a state title since 1984, when they won their fourth straight. The national players are Hamisi Amani-Dove (12 goals, eight assists), who will handle the bulk of the scoring, and Matt Nesbitt (10 goals, 10 assists), who will anchor the midfield. As for the transfers, senior keeper Todd Bradford was a reserve at Atholton last year, while sweeper Corey Sautter comes in from the Eastern Shore and forward Phillippe Inskeep played in New Hampshire.
11 Mount St. Joseph (5-8-2)
* The Gaels took some lumps with a young squad last year, but appear ready to challenge Curley in Division I of the MSA A Conference. Keeper David Cleveland and midfielder Vince Craig return for their third seasons and junior Maury LaPointe (12 goals) is back. Joe Aiosa and senior Brian Lawson again will anchor the defense and midfielder Mark Dunaway will shift to sweeper. Senior Richie Pavlik and sophomore Steve Matcuk, up from the junior varsity, will run at striker. Coach Mike Dolan will miss veteran Vito Monte, who injured a knee last spring in baseball, but Monte may return in time to help the Gaels gain a playoff berth.
12 McDonogh (14-3-2)
* The Eagles return 15 seniors. Midfielder Zach Shamoo has played four years and back Jeremy Carpenter, midfielder Casey Potocki and striker Dom Apollon have three seasons of experience. Sweeper Jordan Stellar provides support for senior keeper Dan Koloski, and Andy Segall is another veteran midfielder. Coach Bill Seal will start one of two freshmen on the front line, either Muriti Murnungi or Kalihl Smith, and he has three sophomores pushing for a starting job: Todd Markin, David Kowitz and Michael Segall. Seal figures Curley will be the team to beat in a balanced Division I of the MSA A Conference.
@13 Perry Hall (8-3-1)
* Gators coach Ed Wolf is enthusiastic despite losing veteran forward Mike Sweat, who is out with a fractured leg. Sweeper David Kieffer and stopper Greg Sutton return for a third season to anchor the defense. Senior Korbin Fleisch will shift from back to shore up the midfield that returns Aaron Grayson (seven goals, two assists). Quint Peralta (eight goals, three assists) is a proven finisher on the front line. Junior Chris Campbell is pushing senior Kevin Wilson for the keeper post. "We're beginning to get the better rec league players who otherwise might have gone to the private schools," said Wolf.
14 Fallston (11-2-3)
* The Cougars return two quality veterans off last year's state Class 2A state finalists and are moving down to Class 1A this fall. Sweeper back Chris Eatough, an All-Metro performer, and striker Shane Dougherty (11 goals, 10 assists) are the mainstays and will get help from three experienced seniors: keeper Steve Chaires, midfielder Shaun Lavin and striker Tom Gould. Junior Danny Bowers, injured last season, is back on defense and senior Joe Poling was the first sub off the bench last year. With only 17 players turning out, coach Len Petry calls depth his main concern.
15 Overlea (11-2-2)
* The bad news is three-year letterman Steve Newberger broke his arm and will miss time early. The good news is keeper Scott Burgess and striker Greg Stevenson are third-year players, and back Brian Livingston and striker Jerry Schlichting are second-year players. Coach Doug Eisenhaur worries about the lack of a pure finisher, but hopes stopper Lyle Diamond will add offensive support to his strong defensive game.
16 South River (10-4-1)
* The only thing standing between the Seahawks and a higher ranking is an inexperienced midfield. Kevin Collison returns in goal and Chris Asher is back for a fourth season to anchor the defense. Tommy White and Jamie Trimmer return as juniors on the front line. Coach Greg Carroll has shifted forward Shawn Wells to the back line and Ryan Dunn, a back last fall, to midfield to shore up that position. The Knode twins, Todd and Ross, shared time last season, but will be counted on to help at midfield, as will holdover Sam Diaz.
17 Franklin (12-2)
* The Indians return a solid group of veterans who bowed to Oakland Mills in the state Class 2A championship last fall. They are junior keeper Eric Monroe, senior backs Matt Matias and Scott Patzwall, senior midfielders Brent Horter and Justin Fuchs, and senior striker Craig Miller. All-Baltimore County midfielder Matt Smith transferred from Randallstown and will help. Off some preseason scrimmages, coach Robert Herring expects Perry Hall, Dulaney and Towson to be strong again.
18 Dulaney (10-2-1)
* "We are not rebuilding," says Lions coach Craig Laferty, "we're reconstructing." Senior Mason Ray is back in goal, three-year letterman Evan Clarke shifts from striker to midfield // and Brad Crossley returns on the front line. Senior holdovers Joe Arditi and George Aquino will run at midfield. Laferty figures his -- Lions will be pushed hard by Franklin, Perry Hall and Dundalk. "We won't have any walkovers," he said.
19 C. Milton Wright (4-6-2)
* Two-year letterman Rodney Bralich will spearhead the attack as the Mustangs work to challenge Fallston for Harford County honors. Keeper Joe Rheinhardt will have plenty of experienced support as junior twins Joe and Jason Zarzycki, senior co-captain Brian Brewer and junior Rob Grevaris all return on defense. Loyola transfer Charles Harris will help control the midfield. Also back is junior Ryan Strasburg. Ted Milam got three games in before going out with an injury last year, so he's not exactly a newcomer. Sophomore striker David Sherf is a player to watch, and junior Chris Wajer moves up from the junior varsity. "If the defense holds tough, we'll be OK," said coach Paul Snyder.
20 Old Mill (6-5-1)
* Defense will be the Patriots' strong suit, led by senior keeper Brian Layman and a solid back line of fourth-year starter Brian Kelly, Scott O'Rourke, Steve Smith and Chris Steelman. The primary concern will be developing a consistent offense. Talented striker Eric Bathras has graduated, so the problem for 14th-year coach Don Hobbs is the offense.
Players to keep an eye on
Name. . . . . . ... . . School. . . . . . . . Position
Hamisi Amani-Dove. . . . Wilde Lake. . . . . . S
Tom Apollon. . . . . . . McDonogh. . . . . . . S
Chris Asher. . . . . . . South River. . . . . B
Josh Baer. . . . . . . . Centennial. . . . . . M
Bryan Bugarin. . . . . . Calvert Hall. . . . . S
Brad Crossley. . . . . . Dulaney. . . . . . . S
Tony Dedmond. . . . . . Atholton. . . . . . . S
David Diangelo. . . . . Hereford. . . . . . . S
Todd Downen. . . . . . . Centennial. . . . . . B
Chris Eatough. . . . . . Fallston. . . . . . . B
Sean Gorman. . . . . . Oak. Mills. . . . . . M
Brent Horter. . . . . . Franklin. . . . . . . M
David Kelley. . . . . . Atholton. . . . . . . M
J.J. Kremer. . . . . . . Calvert Hall. . . . . M
Jeff Mascott. . . . . . Oak. Mills. . . . . . B
Cullen Meade. . . . . . Centennial. . . . . . B
Pat Mohr. . . . . . . . Spalding . . . . . . .S
Jarrod Moreland. . . . . Howard . . . . . . . .B
Matt Nesbitt . . . . . .Wilde Lake . . . . . .M
Steve Newberger . . . . .Overlea . . . . . . . M
Franco Pastore . . . . . Curley . . . . . . . .M
Brian Peterson . . . . . Sev. Pk. . . . . . . .S
Mason Ray . . . . . . . .Dulaney . . . . . . . K
Zach Shamoo . . . . . . .McDonogh . . . . . . .M
Greg Sutton . . . . . . .Perry Hall . . . . . .B
Mike Tall . . . . . . . .Loyola . . . . . . . .S
Lopeka Trout . . . . . . Oak. Mills . . . . . .S
Jeff Vincent . . . . . . Broadneck . . . . . . M
Matt Weimer . . . . . . .Broadneck . . . . . . S
Jason Zaks . . . . . . . Severna Park . . . . .K
Name. . . . . . . . . . School. . . . . . . . Position
Jason Yancey. . . . . . Howard . . . . . . . .M
Anthony Celenza . . . . .Curley . . . . . . . .S
Maury LaPointe . . . . . Mt. St. Joe . . . . . M
Shane Dougherty . . . . .Fallston . . . . . . .S
Mike Bagrosky . . . . . .Howard . . . . . . . .B