North County tennis coach Dan Krimmelbein puts it this way: "There is a hierarchy in Anne Arundel County tennis: there's the haves, have-nots, and the tweeners."
But the 13th-year coach, who considers his team one of the tweeners, says there is a good chance there will be a major reshuffling among the three groups this spring.
Here is a quick glance at what all 14 teams have to offer and may help tennis enthusiasts make heads and tails of what should be another interesting season.
If any team is a threat to take both the regular season and county tournament titles, it's Arundel. The Wildcats tied Old Mill for the regular-season championship, then slipped to third place in the county tournament. No. 1 singles player Jason Kasselman (fourth in county tourney) is one of three returning seniors. Others include possible singles players Matt Durose and Andy Tuma. Junior Dave Townsend, who placed third in the county tourney last year with departed Pat Sullivan, will give the Cats added depth. Other possible starters include St. Mary's junior transfer Carmichael Simon, sophomore Greg McGuffin, and freshman Andrew Carlson.
Eighth-year coach Greg Helms is also loaded with quality girls players. Last year's county runner-up Jen Whitley returns for her senior season. Jen Beers is scheduled for singles, and other starters should include seniors Alina Smith and Lindsay Tozer and sophomore Kelly Trowell.
Although its 69-match win streak came to an end last spring, Severna Park (10-2) still remained a formidable opponent. The Falcons lost the county team title by two points to Old Mill after placing third along with Broadneck in the regular season.
Marge Nicholson's troops placed several players in regional and state play, including Ben Rawitt and Erica Fulton, the state mixed doubles champs. Seniors Joe Laidley and Andy Smith finished second in the county on their way to a regional birth and should be among the favorites to place first in the county.
Other starting boys contenders include senior Rick Wright, juniors Jason Kulp and Andy Hawkins and sophomore Steve Strzelczyk. Sophomore Bronwyn Fulton should retain her No. 1 girls singles spot, and junior Sarah Keller will be at second singles. Doubles players include Fulton, Tricia Cornelius, Beth McCarthy, Sara Wuest and Mary Alex Dundics.
Sophomore Jay Kimmel will lead Chesapeake (8-4 last season) on its quest to join the county's upper echelon. Kimmel, who finished second in last season's boys singles competition, heads the list of boys that includes foreign exchange student Pascal Guite, Scott Sayman, Ben Hardesty, Steve Kozlek, Drew Shetrone, and Shane Hatmaker.
Senior Staci Jenkins is the mainstay of the girls contingent after reaching the quarterfinals of the state mixed doubles tourney with now departed Mark Meyer. Terri Long, another state qualifier at girls doubles, definitely won't hurt the Cougar lineup. Angie Hudgins, Katie Davis, Lisa Schleutner and Wendy Young fill out the list of female hopefuls.
Broadneck, a 10-2 squad in 1992, will rely heavily on its boys, who will be without the services of Wade Berusch, now at Towson State.
Michael Dabbs inherits the top singles spot, and Andy Smarick and Steve Root battle it out for No. 2. James Bae and Josh Good form a solid No. 1 doubles team and Neil Tucker and Grady Mosay will represent the Bruins at No. 2 doubles.
Coach Phoebe Kelly will put returnee Jessica Parks at No. 1 girls singles with the No. 2 slot to be determined. Amy Adams and Megan Mahlow will play No. 1 doubles, and Ann Guo and Amy Frye will combined to play No. 2. Jennifer Baker and Dan Paulsen make up the mixed doubles.
Defending champion Old Mill (11-1) lost 11 of its 14 starters, prompting coach Dick Hobbs to say that 1993 will be a rebuilding year.
Gone are state doubles champions Phil White and Matt Pharr, who are at Frostburg and Anne Arundel Community College, respectively. Boys county and regional singles champion Matt Servinsky went to Mount St. Mary's College. Mark Mangold, Jason Reynolds, Brain Ondrovik and Andy Servinsky return among the boys, and juniors Andrea Melocik (qualified for regional doubles tourney in '92) and Jen Laining head the list of returning girls.
South River (8-4) will try to recover from losing county girls singles champion Priya Vajani, who opted to play the regional under-16 circuit. Senior singles player Mary Sears will take Vajani's slot. Coach Ron Price expects junior Mark Hanna will to make some noise by season's end at the No. 1 boys singles' slot.
Seniors Clay Phillips and Mike Schreiner will take up the No. 1 and No. 2 singles' spots for Krimmelbein's North County (7-5) team. Eric Matuewski, Brad Scheitlin, all-county quarterback Eric Howard and Andrew Geis will fill in at boys doubles. Girls returnees include seniors Angela Prince, Nipali Majethia, Kerry Gregg, Dana Rollette and junior Emma Ketterlee. First-year senior Stacy Salmon and Heidi Newcomer also should see plenty of action.
Mollie Benz, a regional girls singles participant last season, will attempt to help Southern improve upon its 6-6 season in '92. Also returning for coach Ray Ciupek is the formidable mixed doubles unit of Nicole Gregory and Ben Fransen. Calvert County High transfer Alan Barrett tops the list of boys singles players, and senior Eric Halfpap and sophomore Doug Wingfield will be No. 1 doubles.
After three subpar seasons, Annapolis (5-7) may be on its way to turning the corner. Under the new direction of 14-year girls soccer coach Richard King and assistant Toby Coffin, the Panthers boast a talented freshman in No. 1 singles player Meghan Cornwall. Below Cornwall will be sophomore Emily Lowe. Beau Massenburg and Shaila Kulkarni are the mixed doubles team, and five other girls will fight for four doubles
spots; seniors Laura Davidson and Lucy Montgomery and sophomores Kirsten Ostrum, Gwen Walker and Lisa Jewell.
Senior Ted Bromberg will play No. 1 singles for the boys, and junior Dave Wilson will play the other singles slot. Seth Snider, Brad Kovach, Mike Elton, and Ian Masenberg will fight for the two boys doubles spaces.
Four-year varsity member Chris Kwak will retain his No. 1 singles slot at Meade (3-9), where coach Bud Rorison will begin his third season. Kwak's classmate, Min Chung, will occupy the second singles spot, and seniors Ron Lewis and Thomas Ahn and sophomores Pae Han and Bill Peterson will vie for No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Melanie Gorman, Suki White, Halie Ahn, Kari Highland and Shinita McMillan are the Mustangs' top girls.
Brian Love takes over for Kate Pulford at Glen Burnie (2-10), where Jeff Boone and Italian exchange student Giolli Tessera are the No. 1 boys and girls singles, respectively. Chris Roby, Todd Edwards, Adam Edwards, Mark Robinson, Larry Caldwell and Marty Woodall represent the rest of the boys' starting lineup. Rebaka DeWit will play second girls singles, and the doubles list includes Michelle Hudacik, Kathy Sideris, Jenny Na, Alyssa Wexel and Linnea Wexel.
Northeast coach Bray Perry, starting his 13th season, says senior Tony Beidenkap will present plenty of trouble for other No. 1 boys singles players in the county. Brad Bowman is No. 2 for the Eagles (0-12). Northeast's top girls are seniors Vicki Dye and Kathy Smith and junior Cindy McGee.
St. Mary's may be hard pressed to match its 7-3 mark in the MSA BB conference, as it attempts to replace six seniors. Camille Corletta's singles lineup will consist of seniors John Sertich, Brian Schumacher, Matt Stickler, Kent Jones, and Laura Simmons. Sertich returns after a year-long bout with cancer. Top doubles players are Phillip Vendemmia and Jeremy Brown.
The Severn boys attempt to rebound from a 1-8 mark in the MSA A conference without 1992 conference singles runner-up Julie Ayers, one of the top women's doubles players in the NCAA's Division III at Virginia's Washington and Lee College. Doug Sahmel, Todd Brushnighan, Skip Joslin, and E. J. Crawford will compete for the top singles slots for Rip Salmon's Admirals.