They could move the Baltimore County high school golf season to the dead of winter and Dulaney still would be the team to beat.
The Lions won 17 straight county championships while the sport was played in the spring and despite the fact that coach Chuck Klimek has one of the youngest teams in a long while, they are still poised to defend their title again this fall.
"Last year's team was an exceptional bunch and was pretty senior-dominated," said Klimek, whose team had to settle for the runner-up trophy at last year's states after losing to Sherwood on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff at College Park. "I'm hoping these guys can come on strong so I can see what they can do."
Junior Steve Henneman has done his best to help Klimek forget about the loss of Ryan and Brendan McKinney to graduation while freshman Chad Perman has settled in nicely at No. 2. Completing the Lions third through fifth spots, respectively, are freshmen Sam Insley, Grant Dupree and Dave Swartzendruber.
Senior Dave Koch is occupying the top slot for Loch Raven, followed by Larry Yocum at No. 2 and seniors Jason Miller and Dave Komenda are interchangeable at the third and fourth spots.
Mark Astrachan is off to a good start for Pikesville and is a player to watch at the District VI state qualifying tournament Oct. 12 at Rocky Point GC. Giving the Panthers a solid top 6 and a good shot at qualifying as a team for the states are Cory Blumburg, Brad Kurlander, Adam Getz, David Abosch and Steven Keehn.
Pete Ramsey and Curt Colburn have filled the first two spots for Eastern Tech and the Mustangs' next two positions are occupied by sophomores April Kilian and Becky Skidmore, two players who are eligible to compete in the Ladies County Tournament on Oct. 18 at Mount Vista GC.
Favored to win at Mount Vista is junior Amy Rosenberger of Franklin, the county's No. 1 girl last season. Rosenberger is playing in the No. 4 spot for the Indians behind her brothers, Rob (No. 1) and Adam (No. 3), and senior Mike Hackerman. Nicky Bussard, the girls county runner-up last season, rounds out Greg Clouspy's Franklin squad.
Jessica Hernandez, a transfer from Mount Carmel where there was no golf team, is playing in the No. 1 spot for Patapsco. She is the reigning Maryland State Junior champion.
Kenwood coach Glen Linsinbigler has one player who he says "can really crunch it" in senior Elliott White, but beyond that the Bluebirds are inexperienced.
With no "true No. 1 player" Catonsville coach Bill Nelson doesn't see his team snapping Dulaney's streak but with Jeff Zepp and Jason Derr -- two players capable of shooting in the low 80s -- he does have a shot at challenging Franklin for the Western Division crown.
Chet Michalski's 13th year at the helm of Lansdowne's golf program has been a rebuilding one. His squad is made up all freshmen and sophomores, the most promising being Jeff Brewster, Steve Deboy and Derek Stivers.
Golf's move to the fall in Baltimore County forced Dundalk coach Bob Hutzler to give up his duties as coach of the Owls boys soccer team. Hutzler said he will miss soccer but he has been inspired by the play of juniors Greg Gilland and Joseph Schriefer.
Milford Mill first-year coach Debbie Stephan is relying on seniors Evan Johnson, Harry Jones and Earl Glenn.
Overlea graduated its starting five golfers but gained "two freshman phenoms" in Paul Wingerd and James Chaney. Back for Larry Nelson's Falcons are seniors Tom Lynn and Pat Grimes.
Some of Owings Mills' top players from last season chose football over golf, forcing coach Brian Yaneger to "build for the future." The Eagles return seniors Seth Sherman and Aaron Beytin and junior Zach Caplan, and Yaneger said he is excited about freshman Scott Feldman.
Parkville lost Brian Nelson to Towson State but the Knights return three experienced players in Joe Cluster, Justin Curtis and Dave Ford.
Perry Hall, with four freshmen, is trying to build for the future. The only Gators with any experience are juniors Jamie Geilenkirchen and Ryan Wagner.
After losing most of his team to graduation and a change of sports, Sparrows Point coach Mitchell Moon is prepared for a long season.
"All of my players are in the same boat . . . near the bottom," said Moon, who is relying on sophomores Derek Hoopert and Derek Matheny. "This is going to be a learning experience for everyone."
Towson and Western Tech are in a similar boat. The Generals are relying on seniors Adrian Hughes and Bob Strunge to keep their season afloat while the Wolverines are leaning on sophomore Josh Ruskey and David Fultonberger.
Nick Bailey and Sam Stout continue to lead Hereford and Ralph Birt and Carlos Fenwick have provided leadership to a Woodlawn team with several players that are new to the sport.
Chesapeake is another team that lost a number of players to other sports -- namely soccer -- but the Bayhawks return two of their top three from last year in Troy Schultz and Jeff Runyeon.