1994 record: 5-5 overall, 2-5 league. Coach: Kevin Kelly (first year).
Top players: Ricky Trott, Sr., RB/LB; Scott Filipovitz, Sr., TE; Peter Monti, Sr., C; Jake Beltz, Sr., G; Lavar Macon, Jr., RB, LB; Marcus Boykins, Jr., T; Paul McElheney, Sr., T; Keith Jefferson, Jr., WR/DB; Max Clifford, WR/DB; Sean Williams, Jr., QB; Jason Sandner, Sr., QB.
Outlook: The Raiders, carrying 32 players, return fewer starters (two) than any team in the league. Only Trott and Monti started the entire season. Atholton has a new head coach, who has been a 19-year assistant coach, 17 years at Atholton.
Kelly's team must overcome not only inexperience but overall lack of size and a lack of depth on the line. Atholton also moves up from Class 2A to Class 3A for state playoff competition. On the positive side, the Raiders have more speed with Jefferson (4.3 in 40-yard --) and Clifford (4.4) than normally.
Kelly has switched from a run-and-shoot offense to a pro-set with split backs and a tight end. And the 5-foot-8, 185-pound Trott (134 carries for 769 yards, five touchdowns) is a talented RB.
But the loss of FB Jon Sanford (5-10, 190) for an indefinite time because of mononucleosis definitely hurts.
1994 record: 7-3 overall, 4-3 league. Coach: Ed Holshue (career record: 65-78).
Top players: Aaron Perkins, Jr., OT/DT; Andy Frank Sr., TE; Marwan Oweis, Sr., FB/LB; George Mitroka, Sr., TE/DE; John Woods, Sr., SE/S; Andrew Rosenbleet, Sr., OG/DE; John Levine, Sr., C, NG; Jesse McCormack, Sr., OT/DT; Scott Bross, Jr., RB/DB; Chip Harrison, Jr., RB; John Webster, Sr., QB; Nick Langridge, Sr., QB; Ryan Gielen, Jr., QB.
Outlook: The Eagles posted their fourth winning season in 17 years, but return only five starters. Rob Hauff, the record-setting 1,737-yard rusher, has graduated.
Holshue considers Perkins the best two-way lineman he's ever coached. Bross is a three-sport (basketball and lacrosse) athlete who missed nine games last season with a broken leg.
Harrison gives the Eagles a breakaway running threat like they seldom have had. Three players are vying for the QB slot, with Gielen being the best passer.
Overall the Eagles are quicker but not as big. They lack depth on the line. They'll carry 32 players.
1994 record: 2-8 overall, 1-6 league. Coach: Steve Martinec (first year).
Top players: Frank Brosenne, Sr., OL/DL; Dan Garland, Sr., FB; Paul Marick, Sr., OL/DL; Jeremy Lignelli, Jr., RB; Steve Dulaney, Sr., QB/DB; Brent Waskey, Jr., RB/LB; David Boteler, Jr., OL/DL; Doug Gasch, Sr., WR; Ryan Riel, Sr., OL/DL; Marc Hereth, Sr., OL/DL; Eddie Frank, Sr., QB/DB; Peter Miller, Jr., DB; Bo Pick, Soph., QB.; Matt McQuigg, Sr., C.
Outlook: Four starters return from a disappointing season. The Gladiators are searching for a quarterback to replace Sean Lookingbill (1,596 yards passing) with Pick and Frank as candidates.
The offensive line should have good size with Brosenne (6-foot-2, 260 pounds), Marick (6-3, 220), Boteler (5-11, 235), Hereth (5-11, 185) and Riel (6-2, 205). Brosenne and Marick are returning starters.
Glenelg lacks exceptional speed at the skill positions, but Lignelli and Garland are returning starting running backs.
Glenelg has no returning starters in the defensive backfield.
The Gladiators are rebuilding and haven't won a county title since 1985. They have 35 players on varsity.
Hammond Golden Bears
1994 record: 5-5 overall, 3-4 league. Coach: Joe Russo (career record: 101-70).
Top players: Tim Spruill, Sr., QB/DB; Ari Zycter, Sr., OG/DT; Tom Borrego, Sr., OL; Jason Spiegle, Sr., WR; Ron Gamble, Sr., FB/LB; Josh Zillmer, Jr., RB/DB; Jerry Oliver, Jr.,
DE; Hansel Henry, Sr., WR/DE; Mike Bright, Sr., WR.; Chris Gleason,Sr., OG/DT; Greg Minah, Sr. OL; Vince Sharps, Sr., L; Jamie Wasser, Jr., C; Joe Leise, Sr., WR; Mike Amaral, Sr., WR.
Outlook: Given a little luck, Hammond could have had a much better season last year. The Bears lost by four points to Southern and by a touchdown to Wilde Lake and Centennial.
With eight returning starters, four of whom play two ways, including an All-American (Spruill), and the addition of several talented newcomers, Russo is optimistic the Bears have as good a chance at a county title as any team.
The Bears run a no-huddle, shotgun offense designed to make the most of Spruill's quickness. It uses four wide receivers, one running back and no tight end.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Gamble (32 carries, 242 yards) should show major improvement at running the ball, and Russo thinks he is one of the league's best linebackers. Gamble was voted the outstanding linebacker at the Wake Forest Football Camp. Zillmer (48 carries, 578 yards, six TDs) is a breakaway threat.
The offensive line is big with Zycter (6-2, 245), Borrego (6- 3, 190), Minah (6-5, 230), Gleason (6-0, 230) and Wasser (6-2, 200), but inexperienced at center.
The defensive line is inexperienced. Injuries have hurt already. LB Dave Friedman, a captain, is gone for the season with a wrist injury, and 6-foot-3, 254-pound lineman Tim Cullen is out five weeks with a dislocated knee.
"We should be one of the top county teams," Russo said. The Bears have never won a county title, finishing second seven times.
1994 record: 8-2 overall, 6-1 league. Coach: Joe Thomas (first year).
Top players: Frank Tortella, Sr., C/G/LB; Carroll Burley, Jr., L; Brian Neal, Jr., L; Darrell Gross, Jr., RB/DB; Reggie Ray, Sr., WB/DB; Matt Anderson, Sr., WR; Ken Neal, Sr., FB/LB; Dennis Chatham, Sr.,
OG/DT; Chris Poling, Sr., QB/LB; Brian Broadus, Jr., QB/WR/RB/DB; Brian Palmer, Sr., RB/LB; David Stylc, Sr., OG; Randy Kaplan, Sr., OG/LB; Craig Calton, Sr., TE/LB; Matt Sartwell, Sr., WR.
Outlook: After going 17-5 over the past two seasons, including a county title two years ago, the Lions face a rebuilding year under first-year head coach Thomas.
He's putting in a wing-T offense to replace both the I and shotgun formations the Lions ran last season.
The offense has six returning starters, including All-County lineman Tortella. The line will be experienced with two returnees in Burley (6-0, 265) and Neal (5-10, 271).
Poling (6-0, 175) has the unenviable task of trying to replace All-American DaLawn Parrish at QB. "Poling can throw," Thomas said.
Academics are hurting the team, because six potential players are academically ineligible and will miss at least the first few games. "We have adequate size, but not as much speed, and lack depth especially at the skill positions," Thomas said.
Mount Hebron Vikings
1994 record: 0-10 overall, 0-7 league. Coach: Bill Winder (first year).
Top players: Mike Machiron, Jr., RB/LB; Jeremy Desor, Sr., OG/LB; John Smith, Jr., QB; David Jaeger, Sr., OT/DT; Bill McHale, Sr., C/LB; Scott Kelly, Sr., FB/DB; Tom Perone, Jr., F/DB; Chris Varlotta, Jr., F/DB; Peter Yim, Sr., FB/NG; Jason Mincy, Sr., OT/DT; Ryan Douglas, Soph, WR; Mike McCarthy, Sr., TE/DE; Karl Preshoot, Jr., G.; Tony Mansolillo, Sr., TE/DE; Ron Roach, Sr., QB/DB.
Outlook: The Vikings have lost 17 straight games and 36 of their last 40. But Winder hopes to rebuild what was once a winning and respected program.
The Vikings have 25 players -- up from 17 last season. Nine starters are back, including four who played both ways. Winder, a physical education teacher who specializes in weight training, has almost everyone on the team bench-pressing 275 to 300 pounds.
"Can we be as mentally tough as we are physically strong?" Winder asked.
Desor (6-3, 205), the school's all-time leading tackler, has moved from tackle to guard because South Jersey transfer Mincy (5-11, 240) looks strong at tackle along with returning starter Jaeger (6-3, 240). Center McHale is also a returning starter -- good news for QB Smith who has a strong arm if only he gets time to throw. Smith (6-2, 180) was named the second-best QB in camp at the Monk/Schuler Football camp this summer. Smith also kicks and punts.
Wide receiver Douglas, a transfer from Mount St. Joseph, can catch. Winder has switched offenses from a wing-T to a multiple-I in hopes of generating more offense.
The Vikings were shut out seven times and scored 22 points last season. They didn't score in their last five games.
Oakland Mills Scorpions
1994 record: 8-3 overall, 7-0 league. Coach: Ken Hovet (career record: 13-8). Top players: Irving Conwell, Sr., QB/DB; Fardan Carter, Jr., RB/DB;
Brian Howard, Sr., FB/LB; Paul Brown, Sr., WB/DB; Matt Rollman, Sr., C; Carlos Mungo, Sr., TE; Casey Moffett, Sr., DB; Fleming Scott, Sr., DT; Bryan Cole, Jr., OG/LB; Kevin Rondon, Sr., OT; Phil Matulevich, Jr., DT; Mark Dymczenski, Sr., G; Brian Frizzelle, Jr., OG.
Outlook: The defending champs are the team to beat. QB Conwell can take over and control a game. RB Carter (4.3 in the 40) is the fastest player in the county. LB Howard (6-1, 220) is a smash-face tackler. And DB Moffet excels at the big play. Oakland Mills starts out in a wing-T but uses several offenses.
The team's strength is its skill players. Hovet is rebuilding the offensive line, but has solid material to do that and expects to score a lot. The entire secondary is back.
Wilde Lake Wildecats
1994 record: 6-4 overall, 5-2 league. Coach: Doug DuVall (career record: 180-45).
Top players: Josh Vanderwagen, Jr., OL/DL; Dain Lewis, Jr., RB/DE; Tony Jackson, Jr., TE/S; Jeff Johnson, Sr., QB; Sean Jefferson, Jr., RB/DB; Kyle Leibe, Sr., FB; Rob Andelman, Sr., OL/DL; Don Wallace, Sr., OL/DL; Pat Chamberlain, Jr., C; Eric McDuffie, Sr., WR/DB; Barrett Wragg, Jr., WR; Dan Miller, Sr., NG; Gary Brigham, Jr., DL.
Outlook: The Wildecats return 11 offensive starters (five seniors) and are a contender. Wilde Lake finished strong last season, winning its final four games, two by shutouts.
It has experience, depth, size and speed. One opposing coach predicted the Wildecats would win the county "hands down." The defensive line is huge with Wallace (6-2, 245), Andelman (6-1, 210), Vanderwagen (6-3, 240), Miller (5-10, 265) and Brigham (6-2, 245).
QB Johnson is a solid mid-range passer, and with Wragg, McDuffie and Jackson as targets, he could break 1,000 yards.
A larger enrollment enabled the Wildecats to move up to the more competitive Class 2A level. They'll have 35 players on varsity.
Unlike last season when they played their home games at Howard High, the Wildecats will have their own home field at River Hill.