Cosmic Cocktail in 2 weeks: Get your ticket today before they sell out.

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CAPSULES HIGH SCHOOL BOYS SOCCER PREVIEW

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Annapolis Panthers

1994 record: 7-7-1. Coach: David Gehrdes (12th year).

Top players: Chris Holt, Sr., MF; Andy Holt, Sr., G; Justin Daniel, Jr., MF; Oscar Alfaro, Soph., F; Brock Nelson, Sr., D; Kevin Stroop, Sr., D

Outlook: The Panthers return six starters, including the identical Holt twins, who have been starting for three years. Nelson is also a three-year starter. But last year's leading scorer, Roger Alfaro, an All-County and All-State choice, has graduated. His brother, Oscar, started last season as a freshman and returns to the lineup with high expectations as a scorer. Chris Holt will also be counted on to do some scoring this season as he moves to midfield from sweeper. Other offensive threats will be senior striker Matt Hackett and Daniel. The Panthers should also be helped this season by returning players Dan Downer, Chad Jacobson, Lenny Bromberg and Todd Nicolini. The top newcomers are Chad Klakring and Art Hendricks. With 11 players back from last year, Gehrdes is looking to improve on the .500 record of last season, but he isn't sure how the two six-team division setup in the county will work out. "I'm not wild about it, but it is adventuresome," he said. Annapolis is in the Southern division with longtime power Severna Park and always strong Broadneck.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1994 record: 4-14. Coach: Rick Carlson (fourth year).

Top players: Mike Wagoner, Sr., D; Rodney Blockiston, Sr., F; Brian Wright, Soph., MF; Carlos Torres, Soph., MF; Rusty Stover, Soph., MF; Neil Little, Jr., G.

Outlook: With six sophomores on the varsity, the Cavaliers will have their hands full in the tough MIAA A Conference. But most of those youngsters come to Spalding with a lot of soccer skills and they have talent, being produced by top feeder systems in the county. That's why the school can compete in a league with Calvert Hall, Curley, Mount St. Joseph, Loyola, John Carroll and Gilman. Spalding has four sophomores from the Arundel Top Guns club team that won a national championship. They are Wright, Torres, Sean McMullen and Jason King. The Cavaliers should also be strong in the goal, as Little begins his third year as a starter.

Arundel Wildcats

1994 record: 6-6-1. Coach: Nick Jauschnegg (18th year).

Top players: Pat Fridley, Sr., D; Jason Holt, Sr., F; Jim Woods, Sr., D; Tim Farley, Sr., D; Dave Tilman, Sr., MF.

Outlook: Jauschnegg is trying to bring the Wildcats back to the level they attained in the mid-1980s--the days when they were considered in the same class with Severna Park. The coach has a good nucleus of players back from last season but he lost starting goalkeeper Brian Burden. Senior Greg Yenoli will replace Burden in the net. The top offensive threat is Holt, who was one of the leading scorers on the team last season. Fridley, an All-County pick last year, leads the defense. Two newcomers, sophomore forward Todd Heron and junior forward Justin Fohl, should help carry some of the scoring load. Other important players this season are Jeremiah Wilson, Dave Lima, Brian Lima, Aaron Mills and Brian Johnson. In order to play for the county championship, Arundel will have to finish ahead of Severna Park in the Southern division but Jauschnegg isn't complaining. "The two divisions and county championship game creates interest and it looks as if they have the two top teams [Severna Park and Chesapeake] in different divisions," he said.

Broadneck Bruins

1994 record: 11-3-1. Coach: Jonathan Braun (13th year, fourth at Broadneck).

Top players: Todd Betz, Sr., F; Brad Limbacher, Jr., F; Mark Holmes, Jr., MF; John Williams, Sr., D; John Svec, Jr., G; Scott Hoffman, Sr., G.

Outlook: Eight starters are gone from a team that gave eventual 3A state champion Centennial a major scare in the East Region championship game before losing, 1-0, in double overtime. One of those eight is goalkeeper Andy Chambliss. No decision has been made yet on who will replace Chambliss. Svec and Hoffman have split time in the scrimmages and might wind up sharing the job. However, Braun doesn't seem overly concerned. He went 15 to 16 players deep last season, giving him several experienced players remaining. "We have a lot of kids waiting to step up," he said. "And with the open playoff format, we can take things slower. We don't have to peak until the playoffs. We hope to do as well as last season." The Bruins will find out early just how much work they have to do, meeting defending county co-champs Chesapeake and Severna Park in the third and fourth games of the season. Like last year, Broadneck will feature a balanced offense with no big-time scorers. "We didn't have one player score more than five goals last season," said Braun.

Chesapeake Cougars

1994 record: 14-3-1. Coach: Earl Eckhardt (10th year).

Top players: Ryan Frommelt, Sr., F; Phil Demske, Sr., G; Jim Hart, Sr., MF; Brian Mitchell, Sr., MF; Rich Kuhn, Jr., MF; Dustin Clift, Jr., D; Saul Pollack, Jr., D; Jeff Powell, Sr., MF.

Outlook: This team appears to have all the ingredients necessary to make life miserable for Severna Park again this season. The Cougars have a superb mixture of experience, youth, talent and confidence that should enable them to at least equal last year's 14-3-1 record and possibly advance farther in the state 4A tournament. One thing is certain, Chesapeake won't have to contend with three-time defending state 4A champion Churchill in the state semifinals this season if the Cougars successfully defend their 4A East title. Churchill, which beat the Cougars last year in the state semifinals, has dropped to 3A in the West region. Chesapeake had to beat Severna Park on the way to the 4A East title last season, climaxing a five-year resurgence of the soccer program to reach the level of a Severna Park. In addition to Frommelt (the team's leading scorer last season with 11 goals and six assists) and a long list of veterans returning, the Cougars have two impressive juniors (Clift and Brian Owen) and two sophomores (Jeff Cline and Tom deGreck).

Glen Burnie Gophers

1994 record: 4-8-1. Coach: John Camm (second year).

Top players: Keith Culotta, Sr., D; Keith Holland, Sr., MF; Mike Gittings, Sr., MF; Scott Jordan, Sr., D; Danny Lippert, Sr., MF; Hugo Caberra, Sr., F; Billy Volberding, Jr., G.

Outlook: This could be the season the Severna Park influence starts paying some major dividends for the Gophers. Camm begins his second year as head coach after coaching the Severna Park junior varsity soccer team for eight years. Camm has three seniors, Holland, Gittings and Jordan, who played club soccer in the past off-season on a strong Severna Park team. Those three players are expected to lead a fast-moving Glen Burnie offense that could produce a .500 season or better. Camm also believes the team's goalkeeping (Volberding) will be improved this season, helping overcome some inexperience in other areas. The lack of a strong feeder system hurts Glen Burnie, but Camm hopes to get more and more of his players involved in club soccer each year to cut into the major edge Severna Park has in talent. The Gophers are in the Northern division where Chesapeake appears to be the team to beat.

Meade Mustangs

1994 record: 6-6. Coach: Mike Dey (fifth year).

Top players: Chris Balko, Sr., F; Darren Burrell, Sr., D; R.T. Parker, Sr., MF; Nick Smith, Jr., MF; Jon Purdy, Jr., MF; Matt Nein, Jr., G.

Outlook: Gone are three outstanding players who made the Salisbury State soccer team this fall. One of them is John Pozniak, who was a first-team All-County stopper last season and the others are goalkeeper Brad Nein and midfielder Curtis Layton. When Meade loses that kind of talent, there is reason for concern because the school has no strong feeder systems. But Dey is hoping Balko, Smith, Purdy and Matt Nein, Brad's brother in the goal, can help the Mustangs overcome those losses. The keys for success this season are the midfield and Burrell's ability to make a transition from marking back to sweeper. Smith and Purdy started as sophomores in the midfield and played club soccer in the off-season. "If they [Smith and Purdy] win the

midfield and Burrell comes through, we'll be a strong team," said Dey. But the coach would not go so far as to predict this team would match the 11-4 record of the 1991 squad that won a regional championship. "These players have a lot of skills but the '91 team had more athletes," said Dey.

North County Knights

1994 record: 5-6-1. Coach: Mike St. Martin (second year).

Top players: Bobby Kulp, Sr., D; Joe Hizon, Sr., F; Danny $H Zaworka, Sr., MF; Shurrland Murrand, Jr., MF; Sonio Proserpi, Jr., F.

Outlook: Give St. Martin credit. He will play any team, any time if he thinks it will help improve the Knights. He has already scrimmaged powerful Calvert Hall this season and believes it was a positive experience for his squad, which includes four freshmen. St. Martin, who played high school soccer at Calvert Hall, is trying to pass some of the Cardinals tradition and excellence along to North County. "I feel the team has improved 100 percent in its knowledge of the game in the last year," he said. "How well we do this season will depend on how the younger guys on the team play." The coach is trying to fill gaps left by the graduation of forwards Brian Lufton and Pete Merrill and goalkeeper Matt Collins. Hizon has moved from midfield to forward this season in an attempt to give the team scoring punch. The Knights were set back when starting midfielder Chad Farley was injured in the scrimmage against Calvert Hall and lost for the entire season.

Northeast Eagles

1994 record: 2-11. Coach: Sam Tanner (third year).

Top players: Sean Richardson, Sr., G; Keith Mursch, Sr., D; Ben Morris, Sr., MF; Jason Zephir, Sr., MF; Mike Parker, Sr., F; Paul August, Sr., F.

Outlook: Don't expect any miracles out of the Eagles this season. "It's hard for us to do better than a couple of wins," said Tanner. "We only had 30 players out for the varsity and junior varsity and that is better than most years. All I can do is teach good soccer, make sure the players are in shape and hope for the best." With 16 players on the varsity this season, Tanner feels very fortunate. There were years in the past where Northeast had to scramble just to get 11 players on the field. The school loses a lot of players to private and Catholic schools, said the coach. Four outstanding soccer players from the George Fox program in Riviera Beach went to Mount St. Joseph and Spalding this fall, said Tanner.

Old Mill Patriots

1994 record: 6-6-2. Coach: Don Hobbs (18th year)

Top players: Robby Coale, Sr., D; Joe McNally, Sr., D; Ron Rubarch, Sr., MF; David Lee, Sr., MF; Randy Duncan, Sr., MF.

Outlook: The Patriots are young but very capable of scoring, said Hobbs. The main concern is stopping the opposing team from scoring now that Old Mill's two outstanding goalkeepers (Steve Skylanski and Jon Perry) have graduated. Junior Clint Miller has inherited the goalkeeping position but has very little experience. "I'm trying to make him a goalkeeper," said Hobbs. "He's a smart kid and the key to our success." At least two sophomores and one freshman will start for the Patriots, who have strong scoring threats in Duncan, Lee, junior midfielder Tim Ward and junior striker Ryan Hannie. The youth doesn't bother Hobbs too much because the team has the entire season to get ready for the open playoffs. The Old Mill soccer program hasn't been overly successful the last few years after being one of the top programs in the county 10 years ago.

Severna Park Falcons

1994 record: 13-2-1. Coach: Don Gregg (22nd year).

Top players: Pat Wren, Soph., D; Jim Traylor, Jr., MF; Evan Henry, Sr., G; Eric Lenfest, Sr., MF; Jamie Maitland, Sr., D; Grant Shaklee, Sr.; MF; Scott Vane, Sr., F.

Outlook: It could be an angry Severna Park soccer team that takes the field this season, striking out at everybody after Chesapeake stole some of the Falcons' thunder last season. Severna Park isn't used to sharing the

county title and losing in the first round of the regionals, but that is exactly what it had to do last year thanks to Chesapeake (2-1 winners over Severna Park in regional semis and 3-3 tie with Falcons in county title game). Gregg is downplaying any predictions about this season and joked "We're good enough to make the playoffs." Of course, everybody makes the playoffs this season in all sports in the state except football. But it is obvious the Falcons are loaded in talent as the Green Hornets' feeder system continues to send them the many of the top players in the county. Wren, a sophomore fullback, is calm, cool, collected and far ahead of everybody on defense, according to jTC defense-oriented Gregg. Vane, who was third on the team in scoring with 10 goals last season, is expected to be one of the top scorers again. Lenfest and Shaklee will be other major scoring threats. Gregg doesn't like the open playoffs, saying they reward mediocrity.

Severn Admirals

1994 record: 9-6-2. Coach: Marc Osterberger (second year).

Top players: Brian Zaks, Sr., G; Ben Marchant, Sr., F; Court Creeden, Jr., D; Matt Wright, Soph., D; Jeb Bender, Sr., D.

Outlook: Beginning its second season in the MIAA B Conference after a two-year stint in the A Conference, Severn will try to bounce back from a disappointing loss to eventual league champion Boys Latin in the B Conference semifinals last season. Guided by one of the youngest coaches in the county, Osterberger (24), Severn has 14 players returning from last season and will once again feature a balanced offense. Zaks is a four-year starter who had 102 saves as a junior. Creeden (stopper) and Wright (sweeper) each scored five goals last season to lead the team. Seven players had three goals. Marchant, one of the many outstanding lacrosse players on the team, is expected to be one of the top scorers from his striker position. "What we don't have in skill we'll make up with stamina," Osterberger said.

Southern Bulldogs

1994 record: 3-9. Coach: Tim Lauer (11th year, third at Southern)

Top players: Joe Miller, Sr., G; Scott Rooney, Jr., D; Nick Masonis, Sr., D; Charles Wetherill, Sr., MF; Doug Gill, Sr., F; Robby O'Brien, Jr., MF.

Outlook: Lauer says frankly that the Bulldogs will not improve on last season's mark. "We lost a lot of talent. . . ." he said. "We lost a lot of games by one goal last season and could have easily been 8-4." With the talent level down this season, Lauer hinted that his team might not be able to compete with many of the schools on his schedule, especially Severna Park and Chesapeake. "We'll do our best against those two schools and hopefully beat the schools our size [South River and Northeast]," said Lauer, who resurrected boys soccer at Southern three years ago. It was the second soccer program he started, having done so at St. Mary's in 1983.

South River Seahawks

1994 record: 8-7. Coach: Greg Carroll (20th year).

Top players: John Rupp, Sr., D; Chris Case, Sr., D; Dan Ogan, Sr., MF; Bob Davis, Sr., MF; Dave Summey, Sr., F.

Outlook: Year after year, Carroll and 2A South River keep battling all the bigger schools in the county and gaining respect if not victories. The Seahawks are not blessed with a strong feeder system but they do pick up some youngsters from Davidsonville, which produces many top players for private and Catholic schools. "It doesn't phase me," said Carroll. "I kind of like the challenge. Soccer is a different game. If you get a lucky bounce of the ball, keep hustling and maintain a good attitude, you can sometimes beat teams who are a lot better than you." Scoring goals has been a problem in the past for South River and it's the same story this season. Davis and Summey are expected to lead the offense. "We need to control the middle of the field," said Carroll. "Right now our halfbacks need some work." Some other players being counted on this season are junior forwards Matt Redmiles and Kevin McClellan, sophomore midfielder John Higdon, senior defender Eddie Hilton and sophomore defender Eric Mills.

St. Mary's Saints

1994 record: 13-2-2. Coach: Jamie McNealey (second year).

Top players: Brad Topper, Sr., F; Chris Criswell, Sr., F; Justin Wells, Jr., D; Malcolm Granado , Jr., F; Marcus Lachapelle, Sr., MF; Brian Lachapelle, Sr., MF; Matt Miletich, Jr., G.

Outlook: St. Mary's is coming off a MIAA B Conference Division I championship. "We'll win games differently this year," McNealey said. "We'll win more with defense than offense." Gone is leading scorer Steve Bacarde and starting goalie Justin Bowman. But McNealey sees Miletich being a strong replacement for Bowman. "We need to get everybody back in focus for 16 tough games. We were 2-13 in the A Conference two years ago and we remember that."

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
46°