HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREVIEW

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Boys' Latin Lakers

1995 record: 7-3.

Coach: Drew Haugh (career record: 30-44).

Top players: Aaron Vercollone, Sr., QB-DB; Ryan Mollett, Sr., LB-WR; Brian Berger, Sr., WR-DB; Greg Patchak, Sr., LB-FB; John Reichl, Sr., G; Scott Mendelson, Sr., C-DL; Joe Manson, Sr., OT-DT; Chris Savage, Sr., OL-DL; Jason Leneau, Jr., RB-DB.

Outlook: The seniors from this year's Lakers -- who return 13 starters from last year's MIAA B runners-up -- were on an eighth-grade team that went unbeaten and unscored upon. The elusive 6-3, 180-pound Vercollone (984 passing yards, 11 TDs, five rushing TDs) will work behind a line that includes Manson (290) and Savage (280).

Calvert Hall Cardinals

1995 record: 3-8.

Coach: Lou Eckerl (career record: 5-16).

Top players: Jason Marrow, Sr., RB; Pat Venanzi, Sr., LB.

Outlook: The entire backfield graduated from a program that competes in what, top-to-bottom, may be the area's toughest league -- the MIAA A Conference. However, Eckerl, in his third year, is looking for help from an 8-2 junior varsity.

Catonsville Comets

1995 record: 7-3.

Coach: Warren Como (career record: 55-34).

Top players: Ryan Davis, Sr., LB-RB; Jerel Cotton, Sr., LB-RB; Darod Keels, Sr., LB; Jamie Roussey, Sr., DL-OG; Robert Bennett, Jr., OL; Reggie Catherill, Sr., T; Colin Cunniff, Sr., G; Jim Affeldt, Jr., C; B.J. Brooks, OG-DT; Reynold Reedy, Sr., OL-DL.

Outlook: The Comets, who return 11 starters, are among five of the tougher teams in the nine-member 1A-2A Division, won by Milford Mill last year. "We were within a touchdown in all three of our losses last year," said Como, who overall returns 25 lettermen. Offensively, Davis (6-2, 205) rushed for 860 yards and 11 TDs, and he's one of the Comets' three returning linebackers whose average size is 6-1, 208 pounds.

Chesapeake Bayhawks

1995 record: 0-10.

Coach: Phil Donlin (career record: 197-129-3).

Top players: Eric Swanson, Sr., OL; Charles Ripperger, Sr., OL; Chris Johnston, Sr., QB; Brian Oughton, Sr., C; Chris Cox, Jr., OL.

Outlook: Donlin has switched places with former Bayhawks coach Rick Zentz, who is now at Parkville. Donlin's encouraged by a corps of linemen whose average weight is 220 pounds, a strong nucleus and an all new coaching staff. "A .500 record would be outstanding for us."

Dulaney Lions

1995 record: 7-3.

Coach: Jeff Mann (career record: 12-8).

Top players: Cliff Berger, Sr., QB; Sean Schroeder, Sr., FB-LB; Tommy Bell, Sr., RB-LB; Carson Yoder, Sr., TE-LB; Matt Streyle, Sr., OT-NG; Paul Wajbel, Sr., C-LB; Justin Tagg, Sr., G-DE; Steve Duncan, Jr., TE-LB; Billy Kauffmann, Sr., TE-LB.

Outlook: Eight starters return to a squad that lost just two league games and posted milestone league wins over traditional county 3A-4A league powers Woodlawn and Perry Hall. Mann says the hard work in the weight room by the majority of his players has the program headed in the right direction.

Dundalk Owls

1995 record: 3-7.

Coach: Robert Schweid (first year).

Top players: Kevin Baughman, Sr., FB-LB; Tom Cate, Sr., C-DT; Tim Miller, Sr., QB; Brawley Evans, RB; Danta Woods, Jr., NG-C; A.J. Stapleton, Jr., T-LB.

Outlook: Nine starters are back for the Owls, who, under Schweid, are learning a new system in the Delaware Wing-T. "We had a turnout of 61 kids, and we're working them hard and getting a lot out of them," said Schweid.

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1995 record: 1-9.

Coach: Nick Arminio (career record: 2-8).

Top players: Rodney Pearce, Sr., QB; Jason Wagner, Sr., RB; Craig Shifflett, Sr., OL; Larry Jaski, Sr., OL-DL; Shawn Rutherford, Sr., OL; Anthony Lawston, Soph., WR-LB.

Outlook: The Mavericks have 12 starters back, including Pearce (6-3, 170), who passed for 1,538 yards and five TDs, and Lawston, who ranked fourth among state receivers with 43 receptions for 925 yards and four TDs.

Franklin Indians

1995 record: 1-9.

Coach: Rob Smith (career record: 14-26).

Top players: Kenny Vialva, Sr., RB-LB; Karl Holly, Sr., RB-FB-LB; Matt Timmons, Sr., FS-RB; Charles Davis, Sr., SE; George

Bertch, Sr., C; T.R. Walters, Sr., G-DE; Chris Randall, Jr., TE; Chip Burgess, Jr., QB.

Outlook: After going 10-1 two years ago, the Indians are trying to rebound from last year's rude introduction into the 3A-4A league. The 6-0, 240-pound Vialva, a third-year starter, is one of several players back from a team that lost just four starters to graduation. He's listed in Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report among Maryland's top players.

Hereford Bulls

1995 record: 5-5.

Coach: Steve Turnbaugh (career record: 5-5).

Top players: Carl Yelton, Sr., RB; Chris Harring, Sr., TE; Jason DeLozier, Sr., G; Ryan Conner, Sr., C; Jason Shupert, Jr., G-DT; Jason Wingert, Jr., DB-RB; Jason Murphy, Jr., RB-DE; Jeff Harding, Jr., QB.

Outlook: One of five tough teams in the county's 1A-2A league, Hereford returns 12 starters, including Wingert (6-2, 200), who had seven interceptions. The team has just four seniors, but several players like Harding (6-1, 175) are up from a junior varsity that was 9-1.

Hickey Bears

1995 record: 7-3.

Coach: Herb Lynch: (career record: 7-3).

Top players: Mark Ray, Sr., WR; Todd Turner, Jr., QB; Tyrell Henderson, Jr., CB-RB.

Outlook: In their first season of organized play, the Bears qualified for the playoffs -- including a big win over Owings Mills. Its best player earned a full scholarship to a community college in New York. Henderson ranked second in the team with 10 INTs.

Kenwood Bluebirds

1995 record: 6-4.

Coach: Greg Fuhrman.

Top players: Israel Ray, Sr., QB-LB; James Kubilius, Sr., LB-RB; Jason Shipman, Sr., OG-NG; Brent Fox, Sr., TE; George Buddemeyer, Sr., OT; Jason Mattheu, Jr., PK-LB-RB; Joe DeVoe, Jr., FS.

Outlook: Gone to graduation is All-Metro Steve Kelley, the state's scoring and rushing leader last season. Mattheu, a second-team All-City/County pick last year, could help the Bluebirds in close 3A-4A League games.

Lansdowne Vikings

1995 record: 5-5.

Coach: Frank Meehan (first season).

Top players: Eamon Givens, Sr., SS-RB; Willie Pack, Jr., LB-QB; Val Schaffer, Sr., G-LB; Chris Rush, Sr., DL-OL; Durrand Roundtree, Jr., FB-LB.

Outlook: Six starters return, but 60 players were at the initial tryout. "A lot of the kids worked out with weights during the

summer, and so far, they've shown an outstanding work ethic," Meehan said. "We have some really good players."

Loch Raven Raiders

1995 record: 4-6.

Coach: Chuck Weitz (career record: 4-6).

Top players: Ron DeJuliis, Sr., QB-LB; Travis Longwell, Sr., DL; Nate Schell, Sr., OT; Matt Anderson, Jr., RB-LB; Jason Fitch, Jr., T; James Gaines, Jr., S-TE.

Outlook: Weitz, in his first season at Loch Raven, returns six starters. "We have good skilled position players with lots of speed," he said. A turnout of 65 players gave Weitz plenty to work with, and he'll need it to compete in the 1A-2A Division.

Loyola Dons

1995 record: 6-4.

Coach: Joe Brune (career record: 178-118-1).

Top players: Tim Nicholas, Sr., LB-FB; John Price, Sr., WR-LB; Leo Bruce, Sr., OL; Scott Williams, Sr., OT; Mike Plantholt, Sr., DE; Eddie Holman, Sr., S; Kevin Dowgiewicz, Sr., LB; Dale Graham, Sr., DB; Brant Hall, Jr., QB; Blake Henry, Jr., OT; Keon Burley, Jr., G-NG.

Outlook: Fifteen starters return for the Dons, who ended last season by winning six straight games, including a victory over Mount St. Joseph that earned them a three-way share of the MIAA A Conference crown. Hall, who had 113 passing yards and a TD and 135 rushing for a TD against St. Joe, is one reason Brune, last year's City-County Co-Coach of the Year, is smiling.

McDonogh Eagles

1995 record: 0-8.

Coach: Dom Damico (career record: 32-35).

Top players: Lance Clelland, Sr., OL-DL; Robert Reeves, Sr., WR; Phil Rosenbaum, Sr., LB-WR-RB; C.J. Smith, Jr., QB-DB; Cornell Williams, Jr., LB-RB; Neil Littman, jr., WR-RB; Owen Daily, So., S-WR; Bryan Leone, So., RB-LB.

Outlook: McDonogh dropped into the MIAA B Conference this year, but with 19 returning starters, likely could compete in the A Conference. Clelland (6-6, 270) is listed by The National Recruiting Advisor as the nation's 15th-best lineman. McDonogh should contend with Boys' Latin for the crown.

Milford Mill Millers

1995 record: 8-3.

Coach: Reggie Brooks (career record: 8-3).

Top players: Ty Burris, Sr., LB; Anthony Davis, Sr., QB; James Dixon, Sr., WR; Sean Galloway, Sr., TE-DE; Lindsay Hamilton, Sr., WR; David Bazemore, Jr., RB.

Outlook: The defending 1A-2A county champs return 11 starters, including second-team All-Metro Burris (6-0, 265), Davis, who rushed for more than 300 yards and two TDs, and Bazemore, who rushed for more than 900 yards and 13 TDs. "This year, we have more speed and experience," said Brooks, last year's City-County Co-Coach of the Year. "But after the first unit, our depth on the line is questionable."

Overlea Falcons

1995 record: 8-2.

Coach: Terry Ward (career record: 150-94-2).

Top players: Matt Davis, Sr., QB; Chris Carter, Sr., WR; Scott Lubbin, Sr., OL-DL; John Braxton, Sr., WR; Brandon Reese, Jr., ++ WR.

Outlook: The Falcons hope to take flight behind Davis (6-5, 205), who "has done everything he should do" to make himself a Division I prospect, according to Ward. He threw for more than 800 yards last season, and, with targets such as Reese (6-5, 180) and Carter, will try to carry his squad against tough 1A-2A league foes.

Owings Mills Eagles

1995 record: 8-2.

Coach: Ray Groszkowski (career record: 60-63).

Top players: Anthony Smith, Sr., OL-DL; Larry Bragg, Sr., OT-DT; Nick Noelte, Sr., G; Marcus Reed, Sr., QB; Rogelio D'Almeida, Sr., RB-WR; James Soliz, Sr., G-NG; Zack Snitzer, Sr., TE; Tony Crawford, Jr., G; Marvin Reed, Jr., RB-LB.

Outlook: Seven two-way starters return among the Eagles' 24 returning players, who took Groszkowski through one of his best seasons in the 1A-2A League. Smith (6-2, 275), a City-County All-League pick and a Division I prospect, anchors the team. "Our line is the biggest ever, and we return the QB," Groszkowski said.

Parkville Knights

1995 record: 1-9.

Coach: Rick Zentz (career record: 36-40).

Top players: Mark Nelson, Sr., OL-DL; Jeff Kramer, Sr., OL-DL; Jamar Lewis, Sr., RB-DB; Kenny McGinnis, Sr., RB-DB.

Outlook: The Knights are looking for progress which -- with an underclassmen-laden squad -- might not necessarily translate into an outstanding record. "We had good numbers with 50-plus kids, so that's encouraging," said Zentz.

Patapsco Patriots

1995 record: 7-3.

Coach: Al Bennetta (career record: 15-25).

Top players: Dave Dillard, Sr., RB; Ron Wolfe, Sr., QB; Eric Umberger, Sr., L; Earle Wood, Sr., TE.

Outlook: Last year's Independent League champs had a turnout of 25 players -- the best turnout in Bennetta's four seasons -- and are coming off the program's best record in 25 years. "We don't have great depth, but the kids have a lot of desire to win again," Bennetta said.

Pikesville Panthers

1995 record: 2-8.

Coach: Joe Bosley (career record 4-16).

Top players: Aharon Denrich, Sr., OL; David Stysley, Sr., OL; Jason Webber, Sr., QB.

Outlook: The last two seasons, Bosley's squads have gone 2-8. But with eight returning starters, including three-year veteran QB Webber and 27 other players, the prospects for improvement in the tough 1A-2A league are promising.

Perry Hall Gators

1995 record: 6-4.

Coach: Joe Stoy (career record: 67-41).

Top players: Matt Lounsbury, Sr., DB; Brian Kelley, Sr., DT; Aaron Smith, Sr., LB; Chris Zorn, Sr., QB-WR; John Detota, Sr., SS; Jerry Merriweather, Sr., FS; Josh Mason, Sr., LB.

Outlook: Nine starters are back for Stoy, the best of which, Zorn, will be converted into the signal caller to replace graduated Kevin Znamirowski (2,000 yards, 23 TDs). Zorn caught 37 passes for 556 yards and nine TDs last year.

Randallstown Rams

1995 record: 9-2.

Coach: Rudy Hughes (first year)

Top players: Felix Buchannon, Sr., WR; Ronnie Dyson, Sr., RB; Kevin Amado, Sr., OT.

Outlook: Despite playing under its fourth new coach in as many seasons, Randallstown hopes to continue being competitive. A key for the Rams, unbeaten in the 3A-4A League last year, will be deciding who will play QB. "We had a nice turnout of 83 kids, and we know we're going to get everyone's best game," said Hughes, who opens against state champ Dunbar.

St. Paul's Crusaders

1995 record: 10-0.

Coach: Brian Abbott (career record: 16-3).

Top players: Kimball Payne, Sr., OT-DT; Conor Gill, Sr., QB-S; J.R. Sanchez, Sr., WR-DB; Mike Kernan, Sr., RB-DB.

Outlook: Just two returning starters are back from last year's MIAA B Conference champs, but Abbott calls Gill "one of most talented QBs in the area." But the defense has no starters back, making it tough to thwart Boys' Latin and McDonogh.

Sparrows Point Pointers

1995 record: 6-2.

Coach: Mike Downes (career record: 6-2)

Top players: Mike Michalski, Sr., RG-LB; Jason Staab, Sr., C; Rob Celmer, Sr., T; Ryan Keener, Sr., FB; Derrell Smith, Sr., RB; Mike ++ Downes, Jr., QB; Rob Wheeler, Jr., RB.

Outlook: After going 1-39 over four seasons, the Pointers enjoyed a winning year in the Independent League. Seven starters have Downes anticipating another good season.

Towson Generals

1995 record: 2-8.

Coach: Bob Davis (career record: 128-130).

Top players: Tony Mazza, Sr., OT; Josh Beck, Sr., TE; Kenny Glover, Sr., RB; Stuart Wheth, Sr., C; Mark Somers, Sr., LB-FB; Mark Duffy, Sr., S; Ryan Dumphy, Sr., DE.

Outlook: For the Generals, who return seven starters and some talent up from a 5-4 junior varsity, a .500 season would be a good one in the difficult 1A-2A League.

Western Tech Cobras

1995 record: 3-7.

Coach: Marcus Lynch, Sr., RB; Mike Transeau, Sr., G; Dorian Salters, Sr., T; Jason Sweet, Sr., WR; Andy Riley, Jr., G; Chris Hudson, Jr., QB.

Top players: There are 11 starters back, including a full senior class that includes Lynch (1,349 yards, 21 TDs), who runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and was a 100-meter state champ.

Woodlawn Warriors

1995 record: 6-4.

Coach: Brian Scriven (career record: 22-10).

Top players: Dennis Gillespie, Sr., FB-LB; Tim Norris, Sr., OT; DeAndre Binns, Sr., C; Travis Reed, Sr., WR; Davon Harris, Sr., OT; Tavon Mason, Jr., QB-FS; Brandon Jones, Jr., OG-LB.

Outlook: Mason is a shifty target who should wreak havoc both as a runner and a passer. Everything starts with him, but Scriven anticipates another tough battle in the 3A-4A League. He returned just six starters, but others have stepped up.

Pub Date: 9/05/96

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