Players to watch



* Chris Ahrens, Westminster, Sr., attack -- Ahrens, who first started as a sophomore, finished second on the team in scoring last season with 12 goals and 11 assists. A leader who brings plenty of experience, he is an intelligent player with great field sense.

* Brad Blizzard, South Carroll, Sr., midfield -- Blizzard is one of two starters back at midfield, the team's deepest position. A versatile player with solid all-around skills, he will play a major role in the Cavaliers' defense of the county crown.

* John Bolesta, Westminster, Sr., attack -- A rangy player with great stickwork, Bolesta had 26 goals and six assists as a first-year starter last season. Westminster coach Jim Peters is expecting even more offensive production this season.

* Mike Bolesta, Westminster, Sr., defense -- Coach Jim Peters says Mike Bolesta, who is John's twin brother, may be the best player on this year's team. Mike often gets overlooked because he plays defense. He's a solid checker with all the tools.

* Roman Geiser, Liberty, Sr., midfield -- The only returning starter back at midfield for the Lions, Geiser is a versatile player. Liberty coach Jim Langrall will rely on him to anchor the position and provide leadership.

* Mike Heilman, Liberty, Sr., defense -- The glue to the defense, Heilman is very strong for his size and has great stickwork. Coach Jim Langrall says Heilman positions himself well and is accurate with clearing passes.

* Jeremy Krug, North Carroll, Sr., midfield -- Krug has played at the varsity level since his freshman season. He is a serious scoring threat, has good range on his shot and moves aggressively to the goal.

* Travis Mansfield, South Carroll, Sr., midfield -- Right up there with teammate Brad Blizzard as one of the top midfielders in the county, Mansfield is another do-it-all player for coach Gene Brown.

* Chris Nave, South Carroll, Sr., goalie -- Nave helped guide the Cavaliers to a 10-3 season a year ago. He came up with 104 saves last season, and yielded 47 goals to lead the county with a .680 save percentage.

* Paul Orvis, Westminster, Sr., defense -- A steady influence for the Owls' defense since his sophomore year, Orvis has superb size and stickwork and is a great athlete.

* Donnie Pyles, South Carroll, Sr., attack -- Pyles led the county champions in scoring last season with 19 goals and 18 assists. He is in his third season as a starter.

* Tony Wysk, North Carroll, Sr., defender -- A returning starter who is a steadying influence on an otherwise young defense, Wysk knows the game well and is fundamentally sound.

* Ross Yastrzemsky, Liberty, Sr., attack -- Yastrzemsky led the county in scoring last season with 20 goals and 29 assists. Easily the most dangerous offensive threat in the county, he likely will have to pick up his scoring pace even more this season because the Lions lost a number of talented attack players to graduation last spring.

* Gabe Zepp, Westminster, Sr., midfield -- Coach Jim Peters is relying heavily on Zepp's leadership. He'll anchor the first midfield line and play a major role in the team's overall success.


* Mike Allan, Gilman, Jr., attack -- Allan, who had 18 goals and 27 assists last season, is the Greyhounds' top returning point-getter.

* Andrew Ballinger, Mount Hebron, Sr., attack -- Ballinger was a key on offense last year, scoring 30 goals and adding 22 assists. He might be the league's premier attackman this spring.

* Greg Breeback, Hereford, Sr., attack -- A brilliant finisher, Breeback is a left-hander who rolled up 115 points last year for the run-and-gun Bulls.

* Mark Cornes, Gilman, Jr., midfielder -- A hard-hitting, honorable-mention All-Metro selection last season, he will lead the Greyhounds in transition.

* John Cusson, Loyola, Sr., attack -- Cusson, who had eight goals and 10 assists last year, is a feeder and very creative.

* Spencer Deering, Friends, Sr., attack -- This balanced scorer (30 goals, 33 assists last year) was the MSA BB Conference Player of the Year for the conference champ.

* Matt DeMontaigne, Glenelg, Sr., midfielder -- DeMontaigne will anchor the team. He was a solid faceoff man last year, when he also scored 19 goals and had 10 assists.

* Pat Doyle, St. Paul's, Sr., defense -- A second-team All-Metro pick, this 6-foot-3, 215-pound player will take his aggressive skills to Duke this fall.

* Bill Evans, Loyola, Sr., midfield/attack -- This second-team All-Metro pick enters the year with 58 career goals and 16 career assists. He is headed for Johns Hopkins and was an All-American last year.

* Michael Ford, Towson, Sr., attack -- This do-it-all All-American is an excellent shooter and passer who scored 102 points last year for the 2A-1A state champion.

* Sean Gaiser, Mount St. Joseph, Sr., goalie -- A three-year starter with finely honed anticipatory skills, Gaiser is looking to cap a glorious final season before heading to Loyola College.

* Shannon Hiteshew, Oakland Mills, Sr., midfielder -- He had 19 goals and a team-high 10 assists on a team that won just three games last year. If the Scorpions experience a turnaround this spring, Hiteshew will be in the middle of it.

* Pete Hilgartner, Calvert Hall, Sr., attack -- An honorable-mention All-Metro pick, Hilgartner (20 goals, 20 assists) will play lacrosse for the University of Maryland next spring.

* Will Hong, Centennial, Sr., goalie -- Hong recorded 132 saves and had a .650 save percentage. He should provide stability to a young defensive unit.

* Andy King, Loch Raven, Sr., goalie -- The county's top returning keeper will spark the Raiders after splitting time last year before taking over in the playoffs.

* Werner Krueger, Centennial, Sr., midfielder -- Krueger, an all-county player last year, is headed to Johns Hopkins. He led the team in ground balls, scored a team-high 32 goals and dished out 15 assists, second on the team.

* David LaChapelle, Severn, Sr., defenseman -- LaChapelle has been a starter for the Admirals the past two seasons, and it will be his duty this season to contain the opposing team's top attackman.

* Maury LaPointe, Mount St. Joseph, Sr., attack -- This honorable-mention All-Metro pick is the Gales' top scorer (18 goals, 18 assists) and could take them to the top.

* Matt LeBlanc, Oakland Mills, Sr., goalie -- Another solid player who got lost in last season's frustration, LeBlanc had a terrific year. He had a .730 save percentage.

* Tommy Lea, Hammond, Sr., midfielder -- Lea, who is headed for Towson State on a lacrosse scholarship, might be the best player in the county. An all-county selection last spring, he led the Bears to the playoffs with a team-high 32 assists and was second on the team with 40 goals.

* Mac McCulloch, St. Paul's, Sr., defense -- This 6-1, 210-pound honorable mention All-Metro pick is a mobile player who is headed for Johns Hopkins.

* Jason Miller, Franklin, Sr., midfield -- The Indians' scoring leader last year with 21 goals and 18 assists, Miller combines stickwork, speed and game sense.

* Andy Mocarsky, North County, Sr., attackman -- A fourth-year starter for the Knights, Mocarsky is the county's leading returning scorer, having 31 goals and 41 assists last season. With college recruiters lurking, look for him to post similar numbers in his senior season.

* Shawn Moyer, North County, Sr., midfielder -- Moyer, who had nine goals and 24 assists last season, begins his fourth-year as a starter for the Knights. His leadership on and off the field and experience could be the difference in the post-season.

* Sam Peterson, Broadneck, Sr., goalie -- Peterson allowed only 4.8 goals per game last season, and that number should drop this spring from the county's premier keeper.

* Matt Proutt, Boys' Latin, Sr., midfield -- An honorable-mention All-Metro pick with 16 goals and five assists, he is one of three returning starters for the MSA A Conference runner-up.

* Kevin Reichardt, St. Mary's, Sr., midfielder -- Reichardt can do it all and he may have to this season for the Saints. He scored 19 goals last season.

* Brian Reynolds, Overlea, Sr., defense -- This strong player with good stick skills anchors the regular defense and man-down defense.

* Greg Sabo, North County, Sr., attackman -- Sabo is a third-year starter for the Knights with a knack for finding the net or the open man. His 33 goals and 34 assists last season ranked among the county's best.

* Andy Sharretts, Boys' Latin, Sr., midfield -- This 6-1, 180-pound honorable-mention All-Metro pick is the top returning scorer (10 goals, 17 assists) from last year's team.

* Clay Shifflett, Mount Hebron, Sr., midfielder -- Shifflett was an unheralded contributor to Hebron's county championship last year, and he might become the Vikings' best performer this spring. He was second last year with 99 ground balls and added 13 goals and three assists.

* Bryan Smith, Gilman, Sr., midfield -- This honorable-mention All-Metro pick will spark a team that returns nine starters from an 11-6 squad.

* Gary Smith, Pikesville, Sr., goalie -- Smith, the lone returning starter, is a field general and does well on point-blank saves.

* Tim Speno, Dulaney, Sr., midfield -- After missing most of last year with a back injury, Speno should spark the offense.

* Greg Stark, Calvert Hall, Jr., midfield -- A second-team All-Metro pick and the top scorer back for the Cardinals, he's recovering from a broken wrist but should spark his club's attack.

* Ian Stevenson, North County, Soph., attackman -- Stevenson had 27 goals and added nine assists as a freshman last season.

Look for him to take the pressure off teammates Mocarsky and Sabo.

* Ben Strutt, St. Paul's, Sr., midfield -- An honorable-mention All-Metro pick, Strutt (13 goals, eight assists) is headed for Princeton to play lacrosse.

* Josh Sutherland, Curley, Sr., goalie -- This three-year starter and an all-conference keeper at the MSA BB Conference level has the skills to block point-blank attempts.

* Michael Watson, St. Paul's, Sr., attack -- This first-team All-Metro pick and All-American is headed for Virginia after scoring 49 goals and 23 assists last year for the two-time MSA A Conference champion.

* Dan Wolf, Spalding, Sr., attackman -- Wolf, who scored a team-high 34 goals and 14 assists last season, anchors an experienced Spalding attack.

* Emmerich Yoder, Dulaney, Sr., defense -- This aggressive and skillful defender is one of Baltimore County's best.

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