Teams at a glance

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Atholton Raiders

1998 record: 0-15 overall, 0-9 league

Coach: Roch DeFrancis

Classification: 2A

Top players: Justin Pak, senior, D; Chris Fox, senior, GK; Nick Zaron, junior, D; Jamie Hollander, junior, MF; Zach Silverman, sophomore, M/F; Chad Patee, sophomore, M; Jerome DeFrancis, freshman, M/D; Kevin Daciek, freshman, M.

Outlook: Despite a turnout of just 15 players, the Raiders should be a better team with a returning nucleus featuring the speedy Pak and unheralded sweeper Zaron, who along with second-year goalkeeper Fox create a strong defense. The Raiders were shut out six times last fall, lost six games by one goal, and six by two goals. The addition of two talented freshmen, Daciek and DeFrancis, the coach's son, should help offensively. But the coach is still looking fruitlessly for speedy wing forwards to run with Pak. The Raiders have a new non-league schedule that features Sparrows Point and Pallotti instead of Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference teams Archbishop Spalding and Mount St. Joseph. The closest Atholton came to a victory last season was a 2-1 overtime loss to Long Reach, the same team that defeated them in the regional playoffs, 1-0.

Centennial Eagles

1998 record: 7-5-3 overall, 4-3-2 league

Coach: Jim Zehe

Top players: Randy Van Allen, senior, D; Eric Long, senior, D; Todd Sajauskas, senior, D; Nate Zachman, junior, M; Greg White, junior, M; Greg Wallace, junior, M; Paul Krausman, junior, GK; Phil Kiacofe, senior, F; Vincent Clay, sophomore, F.

Outlook: Zehe, 29, is optimistic about his team's chances. "We hope to bust out of the middle of the pack," he said. "We worked hard in the off-season. And if we continue to progress, I expect we'll contend for the county championship." The Eagles, who graduated four starters (Mike Dramby, Mike Martin, Charles Lin and Charlie Crosby), have a trio of experienced junior midfielders in Wallace, White and Zachman. Their goalkeeper, Krausman, saw some playing time last season. Zehe thinks Krausman would have started for most teams. Van Allen, one of the county's tallest players at 6-4, has switched from striker to defense. "He looks spectacular back there," Zehe said. He joins Sajauskas, Long and sophomore Matt Hashimoto in back. Clay, who plays club ball for the Baltimore Bays, has added some size to go with his speed and skills. Zehe also expects help from a 10-0-2 JV. The Eagles have replaced Glenelg Country School with No. 9-ranked Patapsco.

Chapelgate Christian Flames

1998 record: 16-5

Coach: Rob Van Ness

League: MIAA C Conference champs

Top players: Andy Hayman, junior, M; Brendan Ricketts, senior, M; Matt Trail, senior, D; Josh Stark, senior, F; John Bennett, senior, D; Erik Christensen, senior, D; Sean Wybenga, junior, F.

Outlook: This is a rebuilding year, although the Flames return nine players, five of them starters. Their biggest need is a goalkeeper. The defense looks strong with Trail at sweeper and Bennett at stopper. Van Ness thinks it will take a while to create the cohesiveness of last year's team and that winning a third straight C Conference title will be a challenge.

Glenelg Gladiators

1998 record: 5-10-1 overall, 1-7-1 league

Coach: Peter Klisas

Classification: 1A

Top players: Jason Weszka, senior, D; Taylor Faris, senior D; Evan Lawrence, senior, M; Greg Moore, junior F; Evan Kuba, junior M; Phillip Rub, junior, M; David Dorsey, junior M; Corey Shea, sophomore, GK, Connor Nixon, sophomore, F/MA.

Outlook: A young Gladiator team that was outclassed by the top four county teams last season hopes to come of age and close that gap. The No. 1 goal, however, will be more league wins. "We've improved quite a bit," Klisas said. The Gladiators will still be young, with just four seniors and as many as four freshmen. But the defense looks solid with Weszka, Faris and Shea. Klisas touts Shea as one of the county's best goalkeepers. The team also has some quality depth. A sixth-place league finish would be a reasonable expectation, and the Gladiators, state champs two years ago, will aim to upset defending state champ Oakland Mills in the Class 1A playoffs.

Glenelg Country School Dragons

1998 record: 9-10

Coach: Craig Shales

League: MIAA C Conference

Top players: Kolin Leishman, senior, M; Adam Weinrub, sophomore, M; Pat Allinson, sophomore, M; Tony Dolgoff, junior, F; C. J. Bowles, senior, GK; Matt Woodford, senior, D; Andrew Schroeder, senior, D; Adam Hoffman, senior, D; Ryan Soule, sophomore, D.

Outlook: The Dragons lost to Chapelgate in the league title game for the second straight year after winning it three years ago. Shale, a fourth-year coach, has five seniors and says the team is strong in back and at midfield. He regards Leishman (nine goals, 22 assists), who plays for the Potomac Spirit club team, as one of the best players in the state. Weinrub and Allinson played every game as freshmen and both are travel team players. He thinks Bowles is one of the best keepers in the league. The Dragons expects to compete with Chapelgate and Mount Carmel for the league title. Glenelg plays Chapelgate Sept. 17 at Cedar Lane Park.

Hammond Bears

1998 record: 3-11-1 overall, 2-7 league

Coach: Trevin London

Classification: 2A

Top players: Andrew Essey, senior, GK; David Chan, senior, D; Georgio Phillips, senior, M; Landry Honza, senior, M; Dan Hill, senior, D; Brian Packer, junior, D; Jason Freiert, junior, M; Dennis Chan, junior, M; Kris Bryant, junior, D.

Outlook: The team is strong in goal with Essey and solid at sweeper with David Chan. The midfield is looking good with four returnees and sophomore newcomer Paul Preziotti. London, a second-year coach, blames injuries and lack of stringent enough conditioning for last season's subpar showing. Hammond lost twice to Oakland Mills by 1-0, including the playoffs, and once to Wilde Lake, 1-0. "Skill and ability mean nothing without fitness," he said. London's goal is to have a disciplined team that is fit. The Bears move to Class 2A this season. They have shed MIAA powers McDonogh and Archbishop Curley from their schedule in favor of Pallotti and Laurel.

Howard Lions

1998 record: 4-7-2 overall, 2-5-2 league

Coach: Brian Boussy

Classification: 2A

Top players: Chris Goodman, senior, M/F; Daniel Triman, senior, M; Alex Goodman, junior, D; Derrick Jameson, sophomore, GK; Ben Brasso, sophomore, M/F; Charlie Garcia, senior, D.

Outlook: Turnouts and talent are both looking up for the Lions, who'll have a little bit of everything -- speed, size and skill, but who need to come up with a dependable goalkeeper. Boussy, a fifth-year coach who was an all-star keeper during his playing days at Oakland Mills, thinks Jameson has the technical ability to fill that role and is one of four goalkeepers on the regional team. Chris Goodman is captain and a potential All-County player. Garcia is the sweeper. Alex Goodman, Chris' brother, started every game last season. The Lions replaced Woodlawn with High Point.

Long Reach Lightning

1998 record: 8-6-2 overall, 3-4-2 league

Coach: Shawn Smith

Classification: 3A

Top players: Eric Owens, senior, GK; Brent Spranklin, senior, D; Drew Lowry, senior, D; Andrew Price, senior, M; Kieron Bryan, senior, M; Darrell McKinstry, senior, M; Michael Brewrink, sophomore, F; Ifeanyi Ayetin, junior, F.

Outlook: Five seniors are starting for the fourth-year school that recorded a season of firsts, including its first winning season, first playoff win and first league win. And for the first time they scored more goals (26) than they allowed (24). The Lightning won five games by one goal and won five shutouts. The team will have trouble replacing defender Terrill Gary, however. The Lightning upgraded its schedule and will play the MIAA's A Conference Archbishop Spalding, instead of C Conference Glenelg Country School.

Mount Hebron Vikings

1998 record: 14-2-1 overall, 9-0-1 league (county champs)

Coach: Jeff Doolan

Classification: 2A

Top players: David Lechtrecker, senior, F/M; Christian Chacon, senior, F/M; Brendan Glancey, senior D; Jung Chun, senior, F; Matt White, junior, M; Greg Peters, junior, GK; Jeff Wunk, junior, D; Max Marcotic, junior, D.

Outlook: Doolan, a state championship lacrosse coach who played soccer as well as lacrosse in high school and was recruited in both sports, takes over for Scott Conroy, who moved into school administration. The Vikings, who defeated three state champions last season, River Hill, Linganore and Oakland Mills, should have another strong season. And now that River Hill has moved to Class 3A, the road to the Vikings' first state championship may be a bit easier. They return seven starters, including four-year starter and leading scorer Lechtrecker (seven goals, nine goals), the exceptionally skilled, strong-in-the-air 6-2 White (seven goals, five assists) and Peters -- all first-team All-County last fall. Glancey and Chacon were second-team All-County. The Vikings have added height with 6-4 Matt Guy, a senior who didn't play last season after making varsity the end of his sophomore season. And they have an exchange student from Brazil, Mario Buckley, at striker. They also have a freshman Olympic Development Program regional player, Brian Swiech, who may start. Mike Selawski is lost for the season with a broken back.

Oakland Mills Scorpions

1998 record: 17-2 overall 7-2 league

Coach: Don Shea

Classification: 1A

Top players: Steve Blakely, senior, F; Victor Berndt, senior, D; Jean Brunache, senior, D; Jeremy Catlin, senior, F; Chris Ebeling, junior, GK; Kyle Farmer, junior, F/MF; Brian Grund, senior, M; Glenn Hayman, senior, D; Miles Rivas, senior, D; Trevor Shea, junior, M; Tony Santiago, senior, GK.

Outlook: The Scorpions have tremendous versatility and can show the opposition plenty of different looks. It's a quality starting team. The question mark is how much quality depth the team possesses. It's also a senior-dominated team with a lot of varsity experience. Six of the starters also have successful experience at the Under-19 club level. Ebeling posted eight shutouts last season. Grund is outstanding on throw-ins, an area at which the Scorpions excel. Kyle Farmer, a late-starter, brings speed. But sophomore Gabe Amponsah is a speedy fullback. A record similar to last year, and another state title are certainly within this team's capability. "But there's always plenty of luck involved in winning a state title," said Shea, mindful of a regional final shootout win against Poolesville last season and a narrow 1-0 escape in the region semifinals against Hammond. This season, he's wary of Class 1A rival Glenelg, which has gained in experience.

River Hill Hawks

1998 record: 19-1 overall, 8-1 league

Coach: Bill Stara

Classification: 3A

Top players: Scott Buescher, senior, F; Matt Charmella, senior, M/D; Adom Crew, senior, F; Mike Dibella, senior, GK; Brett Endler, senior, M; Justin Gotis, senior, M/D; Clif Jackson, senior, M/F; Elliott Marquis, senior, D; Aaron Pierce, senior, D; DeForest McDuff, senior, M; Kyle O'Brien, senior, M; Brent Tyson, senior, F; Bryce Yetso, senior, D; Rustin Brown, junior, M; Rizvon Gill, junior, GK; Greg Hinkle, junior, M; Matt Tedrow, junior, M; Matt Boras, sophomore, M.

Outlook: An experienced team filled with many quality players and enough quality on the bench to push the starters and provide a safety net in case of injuries, the Hawks are a formidable opponent bent on winning a third straight state title. They return four first-team All-County players, Crew, Marquis, Endler and Gotis, and two second-team All-County players, Pierce and Dibella. They've improved the quality of their schedule by adding DeMatha on Oct. 20 in Hyattsville. And they've added a former DeMatha player, junior Josh Price.

Wilde Lake Wildecats

1998 record: 11-5 overall, 6-3 league

Coach: Dave Nesbitt

Classification: 3A

Top players: Ian Rodway, junior, F; Michael Dello-Russo, junior, M; Robert Ratcliffe, senior, F; Forest Watson, senior, M; Dan Solee, junior, F; Dan Mongello, junior, D; Chad McCarthy, junior, D; Jeff Bright, senior, GK; Matt Thomas, junior, GK; Chris Murdoch, senior, D; Andrew Glickner, senior, D.

Outlook: The Wildecats, who started five sophomores last season, get back 14 players who saw a lot of action. Rodway (seven goals, four assists) was heavily marked last season after leading the team in scoring as a freshman. Dello-Russo (six, six) is the team's key midfielder. Both were first-team All-County. Ratcliffe was second-team All-County. The Wildecats lost to Laurel, Oakland Mills, River Hill, Mount Hebron and Thomas Stone and were a 4-4 team before winning seven straight games.

Pub Date: 9/02/99

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