The Howard and Atholton club hockey teams had good seasons last year. Howard won the Central Conference of the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League, and Atholton was not far behind.
The MSHL, which has 38 teams divided into Southern, Central and Northern conferences, created two divisions this season. The first tier is comprised of the 11 top teams. The remaining teams are on the second tier.
Howard and Atholton are placed in the first tier and right now are paying for it in losses. The Howard County teams, which have tight budgets to make the sport affordable, are having difficulty competing against private and larger public schools that can afford more practice time and have larger teams.
"I have a very good team," said Howard coach Michael Rand, whose squad is 0-3. "But we're handicapped by a lack of 'D practice time. That makes a big difference at this level."
Said Atholton coach Jacquie Dzubak, whose team has been outscored, 20-4, in two games: "We're at a complete disadvantage. We can't afford any more practice time."
The six top teams of the first tier and the top two teams from each conference make the playoffs. It's possible that Howard and Atholton may not make the playoffs, while two of the other six Howard County teams in the Central Conference could.
Still, Rand and Dzubak are proud of their players' efforts.
"I feel we're a competitive team," Rand said. "We may not end up with a good record at the end of the season, but we'll go in there and battle every game."
Howard's defensive leaders are junior Eric Yingling and senior Dom Tourre. Sophomore Brian Moscoe volunteered to be the goalie. "I give him a lot of credit for that," Rand said.
Among the top offensive players are senior captain Erek Dixon, sophomore Rob Ross, senior Claude Wandeler, an exchange student from Switzerland, junior Kevin Lyons and senior Nick Shertinger.
Dzubak, a 1990 graduate of Atholton, played on the Raiders' first hockey team. Leading the Raiders this season are sophomore forwards Bobby Steen, Duncan Brooks and Greg Hendrix. Senior Isaac Treem heads the defense in front of junior goalie Steve Otte.
Centennial, coached by Steve Berman, has beaten Glenelg and last Thursday beat Mount Hebron, 5-4. Leading the Eagles' defense are seniors Doug Faust and Toni Pryszomt, junior Chad Orzechowski and sophomore Brian Betz. Heading the forwards are seniors Dan Havery, Matt Habicht and sophomore Chris Rohrbak. Junior Matthew Sniscak is the goalie.
Coach Dan Kravitz's Mount Hebron team is led defensively by senior captain Jason Brooke and junior Louis Grimmel. Sophomores Brent Roberts and Young Kim and junior Brock Daley lead the forwards. Keith Hubley, who had never played ice hockey, is the goalie.
Glenelg is off to a 3-1 start, its only loss coming against Centennial. Leading the attack for Dave Lawson's team are senior Andy Lazzaro, junior Paul Hughes and sophomore Ryan Cullison. Junior Clyde Gibson is in goal. Defensive leaders are seniors Christian Bolinger, Brian Musgrove and Rob Parrish.
Heading the defense for Dennis Gottesmann's Hammond team are seniors Andy Casper and Greg Restivo. Freshman Jason Milke is the goalie. Seniors Dale Dixson and Gary Obenski lead the offense while junior Tim Zeffiro plays offense and defense.
Juniors Danny Vick and Lindsey Brewington lead the forwards for Pete Lester's Wilde Lake squad. Junior Brian Strahl is the goalie, and juniors Josh Lester and Cedric Cato head the defense.
Oakland Mills coach Al Burgoon has seniors Lenny Kirshbaum (captain) and Keith Robison and junior Harrison Budd leading the defense. Junior J.C. Daughaday and sophomores Wess Campbell and David Mason head the offense.
First-year schools Long Reach and River Hill also have teams.
The teams play their games at the Frederick Ice Rink, The Gardens Ice House in Laurel and Ice World in Harford County. Even though it is a club sport, hockey players must meet the same academic requirements of the Howard County school system.
Pub Date: 12/08/96