1996 record: 6-7
Coach: Matt Roberts
Top player: Chris D'Amico, M, junior; Jason Gibas, M, sophomore; Clint Isaac, M-D, senior; Bryan Lindecamp, D, senior; Branden O'Hara, F-M, sophomore; Carine Sawyer, M, senior
Outlook: With as many as four sophomore starters, the Eagles will need to work together to control possession. Aberdeen must make up for the loss of 18 of their 22 goals from a year ago, with help likely tocome from midfield.
Bel Air Bobcats
1996 record: 13-3-1
Coach: Bill Jefferson
Top player: Shane Justice, F, freshman; Don Maney, F, senior; Ian Minnichbach, GK, senior; Brad Nowicki, M, junior; Ben Skureal, D, senior
Outlook: With just two returning starters, the Bobcats will find the going tough in their attempt to measure up to the previous two seasons -- state finalists in 1995, and state semifinalists a year ago. Jefferson looks to build around the strength of several players up from last season's undefeated JV, plus Justice, a rare freshman starter. Three-year starter Minnichbach anchors the defense and usually is superb in pressure-packed games.
C. Milton Wright Mustangs
1996 record: 9-4
Coach: Paul Snyder
Top player: Andy Haynes, D, senior; Tom Parr, D, junior; Mike Thrailkill, M, senior
Outlook: The Mustangs are not much older than a year ago, and Snyder can only hope to get some consistency among his starters. Thin on scorers, Wright will need big efforts from its defense to hold up against the likes of Archbishop Curley and McDonogh, as well as its county foes.
1996 record: 7-5-2
Coach: Paul Austin
Top player: Randy Cottrell, D, senior; Rich Ihle, D, senior; Chris Kingsley, M, sophomore; Mike Kingsley, M, sophomore; Rex Sapasap, M, senior; Eric Sinar, M, senior
Outlook: With a boost in confidence after their first winning season in 10 years last season, the Rams don't figure to be a pushover in the county league. Austin has an experienced senior group and looks to get a lot of production out of the midfield, particularly Sapasap. A defense in transition likely will decide how long Edgewood enjoys its recent success.
1996 record: 8-4
Coach: Len Petrey
Top player: Derek Chappel, F-M, senior; John Lindhorst, D, senior; Fran Shea, D, junior
Outlook: Petrey is without a prolific scorer for the first time in quite a while. The Cougars also are a lot more youthful and, thus, expect a lot of minutes from their seniors. A steady goalkeeper must emerge if Fallston hopes to cope with a tough late-season schedule.
Harford Tech Cobras
1996 record: 1-11
Coach: Andy Bleichfeld
Top player: Chris Geisel, D, senior; Gary McDonald, GK, senior; K.C. McQuiston, F, senior; Robert Venzke, F, senior
Outlook: The Cobras are still building but with the skill level up, they should see improvement in playing an independent schedule. With two senior returners in the back, the Cobras' defensive troubles should be lessened. A high turnout has allowed a JV, too.
Havre de Grace Warriors
1996 record: 3-8
Coach: Ron Ebright
Top player: Chris Caine, D, senior; John Lynch, D, senior
Outlook: The focus for first-year coach Ebright will be to improve the Warriors' sportsmanship, because they have led the league in penalties the last two years. Three underclassmen could start as Ebright looks to think offense.
John Carroll Patriots
1996 record: 9-9
Coach: Rob Huebeck
Top player: Tim Buckless, M, senior; Pat Dempsey, F, senior; Jordan Lally, M, senior; Phil Manna, GK, senior
Outlook: Huebeck will likely start six new varsity players but thinks his Patriots can meet the challenges of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. Much of that will depend on Manna, a fourth-year starter who figures to carry more responsibility in goal. Huebeck hopes a stronger midfield and more quickness up front mean more goals.
1996 record: 5-9-1
Coach: Lance Thompson
Top player: Rob Burns, D, junior; Chris James, D, junior; Chris Kelleher, M, senior; Chip Reiter, F-M, senior; Jason Stone, GK, senior
Outlook: The Mariners had hoped for more scoring, but an injury to Kelleher is a major setback. Thompson again has formidable fullbacks in Burns and James, and Stone is a year better. A .500 record is within reach if several newcomers quickly progress.
North Harford Hawks
1996 record: 3-11
Coach: Jim Garland
Top player: Alan Barstow, D, senior; Galen Beers, F, senior; Nathan Koss, D, senior; Ryan Reif, M, senior; Chris Taugher, M, senior; Ryan Warfel, F, senior
Outlook: Garland last coached the Hawks in 1990, and with his return comes a new system of play. The emphasis will be on controlling possession and a more aggressive counterattack. Garland also will use several quality sophomores as he attempts to revive a defense that lost top goalkeeper Mike Scott to a broken hand.
Pub Date: 9/04/97