Bowling Brook Thoroughbreds
1998 record: First season
Coach: Gary Myers
Top players: Rashad Cobb, QB/DB; Jondell Penn, FB/LB; Mike Price, OL/DL; Tristen Scott, RB.
Outlook: Most of Bowling Brook's first team has never played organized football, but Myers likes his team's athleticism. "We want to have fun," said Myers of his seven-game schedule. "Don't get me wrong, we want to win. But the experience of being part of a football team and all the things you go through over the course of a season will last these kids a lifetime if they put 100-percent effort into it.'
Francis Scott Key Eagles
1998 Record: 1-9
Coach: Mike Coons (22-78 career)
Top players: Jason Billings, Jr., RB/DL; Ryan Bordner, Jr., QB; Tony Braglio, Sr., OL; Tommy Eyler, Sr., OL/LB; Tommy Fletcher, WR/DB; Brendan McDaniel, Jr., RB/DB; Justin McDaniel, Jr., RB/DB; Ed Seeley, Jr., RB/DB; Russell Tyler, Jr., RB.
Outlook: Hoping to jump-start an offense that struggled last year, Coons has installed the wing-T. "You try to fit what you're doing with what kids you have," Coons said, which means some small, quick running backs but no fullback. Those facing the biggest adjustment may be the offensive linemen. As the two tackles, Braglio (6-2, 200) and Eyler (6-2, 215) are the bookends of that group. Bordner becomes the quarterback, and Tyler, last season's starting QB, moves to running back, where he will share time with the McDaniel twins and several others. Eyler, at middle linebacker, is one of four starters back on defense. With juniors making up the bulk of the offense, Coons is preaching patience as the new system takes root. "Change has its rough edges, but we're excited about it."
1998 Record: 3-7
Coach: Ken Johnson (23-37 career)
Top players: Drew D'Anthony, Jr., DL/FB; Jeremy Hagy, Sr., DL/OL; Jim Miller, Jr., QB; Joe Pugliese, Jr., LB; Rocko Pugliese, Sr., C/DL; Ryan Sargent, Sr., LB/DB; Tom Warner, Sr., DB.
Outlook: High-scoring shootouts like last year's 44-42 season-ending loss to North Carroll may be a thing of the past. Liberty welcomes back eight defensive players who have started at least one game. The defense will be anchored by Hagy, an All-County linebacker last year, and the 6-foot-2, 248-pound D'Anthony. Sargent, a returning All-County choice who alternates between safety and linebacker, and Martin tied for the county lead last year with three interceptions. Johnson expects to use "backs by committee" in his wing-T. Miller returns at quarterback. The offensive line has been revamped, but Johnson likes the result. "Our line is stronger and much, much quicker," he said. "Their timing looks really good."
North Carroll Panthers
1998 Record: 5-5
Coach: Bill Rumbaugh (15-45 career)
Top players: Regis Burket, Sr., QB; Greg Delgarno, Sr., RB/LB; Vinnie Iadavia, Jr., RB/LB; Matt Lowe, Jr., DL; Dave McNamara, Sr., OL/DL; Kyong Pak, Sr., LB; Steve Suter, Sr., RB/DB; Greg Wynebrenner, Jr., LB.
Outlook: The defending county champs have "a nice stable of running backs," said Rumbaugh, with Suter, who rushed for a school-record 1,534 yards last year and scored 20 touchdowns (14 rushing, four receiving, two on punt returns). Running backs Delgarno, Iadavia and senior Trey Ford will share the workload and help deflect pressure from Suter. Burket appears to have edged Lowe for the starting quarterback job, though Lowe will contribute as a defensive lineman. McNamara (6-1, 320), an All-County choice last year, should be a force on both the offensive and defensive lines. Pak is the lone returning starting linebacker. The secondary will be led by Suter; as accomplished as he is at running back, some county coaches consider Suter better at defensive back.
South Carroll Cavaliers
1998 Record: 6-4
Coach: Gene Brown (30-40 career) Top players: Chris Alexander, Sr., QB; Chris Currence, Sr., LB; Nick Hozik, Sr., LB/TE; Michael Jenkins, Sr., OL/DL; Joe Richardson, Sr., WR; Danny Stansbury, Sr., DB/RB.
Outlook: "We're not as experienced," Brown said. "Our best hope is that some of the kids that do have some experience can get it going for us." The veterans include an excellent linebacker duo, Currence (5-11, 195) and Hozik (6-0, 185). The Cavaliers also have one of the county's premier linemen, Jenkins (6-5, 305). On offense, Alexander takes over at quarterback. Stansbury figures to be the top running back, and Richardson is the leading receiver. With both lines inexperienced and with a new quarterback, Brown's team may be hard-pressed to duplicate last year's 4-0 start. "Right now," he said, "all I'm thinking about is Glenelg."
1998 Record: 6-4
Coach: Scott Tobias (6-4 career)
Top players: Scott Carnegie, Sr., QB/DB; Cory Chaney, Sr., WR/LB; Brad Durden, Jr., RB; Matt Farver, Sr., LB; Kevin Riley, Jr., OL; Jamel Smalls, Jr., RB; Nick Stonesifer, Sr., OL/LB.
Outlook: Building on last fall's first winning team since 1990, achieved with few senior starters, the Owls are more experienced and deeper, with 47 players in camp. "Having that depth is something we haven't been familiar with," said Tobias, who remembers his days as an assistant when only about 30 players were coming out for the team. Carnegie returns at quarterback and will be protected by four returning starters on the offensive line. Smalls, an All-County wide receiver last year, moves to tailback in the Owls' pro-set offense. Tobias calls the 5-foot-10, 215-pound Smalls "an Eric Metcalf type" with big-play ability as a rusher, receiver or kick returner. He's complemented in the backfield by the 6-2, 220-pound Durden. Farver is the lone returning starter at linebacker and the key to the defense. Last year, Tobias said, "I think we surprised some people, including myself. But the kids still need to learn how to win consistently."
Pub Date: 9/02/99