1997 record: 2-9-2
Coach: Matt Roberts
Top players: Joey Benz, Sr., G.; Ethan Carter, Sr., M; Chris D'Amico, Sr., M; Jason Gibas, Jr., F; Matt Goodwin, Sr., M-D; Brandon O'Hara, Jr., M-F
Outlook: With six returners and more maturity, the Eagles hope to play with more consistency. While the defense remains intact, it still must cut down on the number of shots allowed. The Eagles also look to pick up the pace offensively.
Bel Air Bobcats
1997 record: 10-5-1
Coach: Bill Jefferson
Top players: Brian Dempsey, Sr., D; Shane Justis, Soph., F; Jason Kemper, Sr., M; Joe Matta, Sr., F; James Smolenski, Jr., M
Outlook: Traditionally one of the stingiest teams in the league, the Bobcats will lean on a stronger defense in their search for a fourth straight regional title. Scoring was down a year ago, but Justis is a quality finisher, and any help from Matta is a plus. The difference could be whether the Bobcats can rebound from the loss of goalkeeper Ian Minnechbach, who transferred to Towson.
C. Milton Wright Mustangs
1997 record: 7-8
Coach: Paul Snyder
Top players: Eric Blom, Sr., G; Chad Eberly, Soph., M; Eric Heisey, Sr., D; Corey Hendy, Jr., M; Colin Mills, Jr., M; Eddie Resende, Soph., M; Tom Parr, Sr., D
Outlook: Snyder again has a youthful group, but talent isn't lacking, just varsity experience. The Mustangs likely will get a lot of work from a strong sophomore class, especially at midfield, which over time could produce a lot of goals. Parr's move to the backfield solidifies the defense, which is anchored by the return of Blom in goal. The Mustangs will grow quickly with an early schedule that includes Archbishop Curley and St. Mark's (Pa.), which was nationally ranked a year ago.
1997 record: 8-7
Coach: Herb Lose
Top players: Curtis Haden, Sr., D; Chris Kingsley, Jr., M; Mike Kingsley, Sr., M; Brian Nearhood, Jr., D
Outlook: First-year coach Lose will use a formation with the focus on improving the defense. The Rams are thin beyond the starters, and Lose would like a bigger effort from his midfield.
1997 record: 8-4
Coach: Len Petrey
Top players: Ken Klaus, Sr., G; Mike Mannion, Sr., M; Justin Mast, Sr., M; David Michaels, Sr., D; Tom Neunaber, Sr., D; Manny Nunez, Sr., F; Ken Pakulski, Sr., M; Fran Shea, Sr., M
Outlook: The Cougars will take on a more defensive posture with their scoring nearly wiped out from a year ago. Petrey has several players with new roles, and goalkeeper Klaus can't afford many letdowns with a backfield that has below average speed.
Harford Christian Eagles
1997 record: 15-4
Coach: Harley Parkes
Top players: Jason Brooks, Sr., D; Ryan Donahue, Jr., G; Justin Gischell, Jr., M; Joe Grant, Sr., M; Craig Ingram, Sr., F; Curtis Ingram, Sr., F; Ryan Parkes, Jr., M
Outlook: Parkes calls this his best team in 23 years as coach, and the Eagles are looking forward to a 20-win season and repeating as champions of the Maryland Association of Christian Schools league. An abundance of experience begins with the Ingram brothers, two forwards who can put the ball in the net. The defense remains intact and must stand up to a tougher schedule that includes several MIAA C Conference teams, as well as Joppatowne.
Harford Tech Cobras
1997 record: 1-12
Coach: Andy Bleichfeld
Top players: Todd Ess, Sr., M; Kevin Henry, Sr., D; Brian Lamgrehr, Sr., F; Nick Mannion, Sr., M; Dave Marple, Sr., M
Outlook: The Cobras are still gaining experience, but the chemistry and skills are better with the seniors having been together for three years. Bleichfeld looks to get the most of out his midfield but the question is the defense.
Havre de Grace Warriors
1997 record: 1-9-1
Coach: Ron Ebright
Top players: Matt Burdetti, Sr., D; Ron Ebright, Sr., M; Chris Schneider, Sr., F; Giorgio Sfetsas, Sr., F; Ryan Thomas, Sr., F; Justin Vincenti, Sr., M
Outlook: The Warriors hope a good core of returning seniors means a higher level of play. Ebright will keep things simple on offense to try and find ways to score but he needs better play from his defense.
John Carroll Patriots
1997 record: 3-9-2
Coach: Rob Huebeck
Top players: Russ Greman, Sr., D; Paul Isbell, Sr., F; Eric Syphard, Sr., M
Outlook: With a squad consisting of 10 sophomores, five of whom will start, these Patriots are likely to see a lot of on-the-job training. Although Huebeck has his youngest team in five years, the skills are high among the underclassmen. Isbell is a quality finisher.
1997 record: 6-5-1
Coach: Tony Blackburn
Top players: Rob Burns, Sr., D; Tim Dean, Jr., D; Chris James, Sr., D; Steve Janis, Sr., D; Heath Kiel, Sr., F; Chris Mazzoni, Sr., M
Outlook: The Mariners play begins in the back, where third-team All-State selection Burns returns at sweeper and heads a backfield that must protect a new goalkeeper. Kiel moves from midfield to the frontline to generate more offense.
North Harford Hawks
Pub Date: 9/03/98