Teams at a glance

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Annapolis Area Christian Eagles

1998 record: 5-12-2

Coach: Tim McCuen

Top players: Garth Thorpe, Jr., G; Stephen Deterbing, Sr., D; Alex Bitzer, Jr., M; Luke Palumbo, Jr., F; Jon Beaton, Sr., D; Matt Holland, Sr., F; Ryan McCuen, Jr., F.

Outlook: New coach McCuen plans more emphasis on offense. The Eagles will be aggressive, pressuring the ball. A solid defense will enable them to take chances. Thorpe, a competitor, returns to the goal with sweeper Deterbing and Beaton reliable. Juniors dominate the midfield with Andrew Whitely and Jes Steigerwald joining Bitzer. Palumbo, a standout wrestler, brings a relentless work ethic up front with Ryan McCuen and Holland.

Annapolis Panthers

1998 record: 3-9-1

Coach: Sandy Gelrod

Top players: Will Phillips, Sr., M; Cole Gelrod, Sr., GK; Pat O'Brien, Sr., MF/F; Bret McConnaughhay, Sr., MF/F; Joe Feldman, Sr., D; Ryan O'Connor, Jr., D.

Outlook: Gelrod, an assistant the last two seasons at Annapolis, takes over as coach with a simple plan -- Get players to play their best and let wins and losses take care of themselves. Phillips, one of the county's most talented players, can control a game at center midfield. Gelrod will play three up-front and four midfielders for a better offensive push. Striker Josh Lesko and midfielder David Wooster, both senior lacrosse standouts, return and provide athleticism. The Panthers lost a lot on defense and will count on Cole Gelrod's play in goal along with sweeper Joe Feldman.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1998 record: 8-10-1

Coach: Jose Florez

Top players: Chris Dehenzel, Sr., GK; Lance Beaty, Jr., MF; Adam Thomas, Jr., MF; Ian Breckenridge, Sr., D; Sean Wright, Jr., D.

Outlook: Florez brings 15 years of club coaching experience, twice leading the Laurel Wildcats Under-15 team to Maryland Cup championships. Look for the Cavaliers to keep the ball on the ground with short passes and play an attacking style. A good mix is back with 12 seniors, 10 juniors and three sophomores, including nine starters. Dehenzel returns in goal, backed up by junior Anthony DiGiulan. Wright is at sweeper, and Breckenridge is a strong marker. Florez will look for his midfield to score as much as his strikers with Beaty and Thomas in the middle and Florida transfer Mantini a strong addition up front.

Arundel Wildcats

1998 record: 10-5-1

Coach: Nick Jauschnegg

Top players: Eric Camacho, Jr., MF/F; Gary West, Jr., M; Bray Russell, Jr., MF; Phil Cooke, Jr., D; Brian Morrison, Sr., G; Kristian Gaj, Sr., F; Scott Bujac, Sr., F.

Outlook: Jauschnegg is building a young team around the little experience he has. Camacho, West, Russell and Cooke are the starting points, with Morrison looking solid as he prepares for his first season in goal. Bujac switches from midfield to forward with Gaj. Juniors Eric Cole, Lou Verdi and Kevin Funk are defensive newcomers. By far, the biggest loss is Kyle Beckerman, an All-Metro first-team midfielder last fall and an Under-17 national team star for the past year. He is competing in games this fall leading to FIFA's Youth World Championships in New Zealand in November and will finish high school at the Bolitieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla., which other U-17s also are attending.

Broadneck Bruins

1998 record: 6-7-1

Coach: Jon Braun

Top players: Patrick Cording, Sr., MF/F; Jimmy Melton, Sr., D; Jeremy Horine, So., F; Adam White, Jr., MF; Doug Coe, Jr., D; AJ Saggese, So., D; Dan Solan, Jr., MF/F; Andy Couch, Jr., D.

Outlook: The young Bruins are looking for an identity, and Braun plans to give everyone on his 18-player roster the chance to step up. Defense seems set. Coe will be sweeper, with Saggese solid at stopper. Seniors Matt Stover and Rick Burkhart give Braun options in goal. A big concern is at midfield. White, Cording and Horine are talented returnees who could provide answers on offense.

Chesapeake Cougars

1998 record: 17-3

Coach: Earl Eckhardt

Top players: Scott Mucci, Sr., D; Mike Jungerheld, Jr., M; Adrian Titus, Jr., F; Jon Philipp, Jr., D; Brian Smith, Sr., D.

Outlook: The Cougars will be hard-pressed to duplicate their first Class 4A state title last fall. The big question is on offense, where Eckhardt lost 44 goals to graduation. Jungerheld (seven goals, three assists) will assume more of a lead role, and Titus (five goals, nine assists) is another threat. Three of four defensive starters are back. Mucci and Smith are in the middle, with Philipp the county's top marking back. Seniors Mike Schlein and Mike Filetta are vying for the goalie job.

Glen Burnie Gophers

1998 record: 10-4-1

Coach: John Camm

Top players: Steve Arnwine, Sr., D; Salvatore Montavago, Sr., F; Josh Curry, Sr., GK; Ronnie Smith, Jr., MF; Joe Pierpoint, Sr., D; Jason Fridley, So., F; Casey McCormick, Jr., MF.

Outlook: The Gophers want more success. Seven starters return with balance throughout the lineup. Camm is convinced there's more than enough offensive talent back, starting with Smith, who distributes well and moves. McCormick and Fridley will create and finish on scoring chances with junior Adam Brocato adding midfield depth. The defense, led by Arnwine at sweeper, is quick, athletic and hard-nosed. Curry returns in goal.

Meade Mustangs

1998 record: 3-8-3

Coach: Mike Dey

Top players: Mike Cheman, Sr., F; Jeremy Statkus, Jr., MF; Jason Skowronski, Sr., MF; Dustin Pierce, Jr., D; Mike Pittman, Sr., D/F; Jon Whitehurst, Jr., MF.

Outlook: Cheman is one of the county's most gifted strikers, but is there help to turn some of last year's close losses into wins? Dey thinks so. With Skowronski healthy after being bothered by a bad back the past two seasons at center midfield and Pittman, Statkus and Whitehurst in the mix, Dey is hoping teams can no longer solely focus on Cheman. Pierce brings speed and skills at sweeper. Senior John Wilson, a basketball player and soccer newcomer, and junior Jon Borys, up from the JV, are vying to start in goal.

North County Knights

1998 record: 7-4-2

Coach: Greg Helms

Top players: Richie Guarnera, Sr., F; Josh Evans, Sr., D; Dan Coleman, Sr., MF; Josh Jones, Sr., MF; Dave Menefee, Sr., D; Nick Shade, Jr., MF/F.

Outlook: Patience will be the key, given the loss of 12 seniors, nine of them starters, from last fall. Guarnera, a three-year starter and the leading returning scorer, will be asked to do a lot. Ditto Evans on defense. Coleman is the primary link between them at midfield. Helms has more speed this season, and the Knights should win more balls in the air. Senior Joe Griffin and sophomore Sam McCordic are goalkeeping candidates.

Northeast Eagles

1998 record: 2-10-1

Coach: John Malecki

Top players: Butch Santucci, Jr., G; Tom Kish, Sr., D; Chris Crocetti, Sr., D; Jason Blotzer, Jr., MF; Scott Pervola, Jr., F; David Yesker, Sr., F; Jared Yanuzzi, Sr., D.

Outlook: Malecki returns 12 players with varsity experience and had his biggest turnout in his three years at Northeast. He's hoping a senior-laden defense, combined with young midfielders and forwards, can translate into more wins. The starting point is with the defense and particularly Santucci, who anticipates and distributes the ball well. Kish moves to sweeper, with Crocetti at stopper. As a junior, Blotzer is the veteran of a young midfield that features sophomores Steve Kendall and Marquis Henderson. Pervola and Yesker work hard up front.

Old Mill Patriots

1998 record: 8-6-1

Coach: Jim Griffith

Top players: Scott Roberts, Sr., D; Vic Thillett, Sr., M; Nathan Bell, Sr., D; Eric Sisulach, Jr., F; Craig English, Jr., MF; Pat Delaney, Jr., MF.

Outlook: Experience is everywhere, particularly on defense and in midfield. Griffith has more depth than ever. One question, however: Who will put the ball in the net? The Patriots lost 22 of their 25 goals from last season to graduation. Sisulach and Dan Jones could be part of the answer. There's comfort in a defense led by Bell, a 6-foot-3 standout. Thillett, a track standout, brings energy to a deep midfield.

Severna Park Falcons

1998 record: 15-3

Coach: Don Gregg

Top players: Jerry Cornett, Sr., MF/F; Jon Traylor, Sr., MF/F; Jon Hopp, Sr., G; Chris Boyd, Sr., D; Jeff White, Jr., MF/F; J. P. Murphy, So., MF/F.

Outlook: Gregg has never had to replace 10 starters in 26 years at Severna Park -- until now. With a large number out, competition has been healthy, and rebuilding will also take on a reloading aspect. Cornett, who scored seven times last fall with five assists, is the only starter back. Used mostly at wing last year, he'll be more in the middle of the offense. Traylor, after scoring some big goals off the bench last year, will start. Murphy should contribute immediately at midfield or up-top. Hopp has been strong in goal and will get help from Boyd at stopper.

Southern Bulldogs

1998 record: 2-9-2

Coach: V.J. Keith

Top players: Jesse Woody, Sr., G; Rob Witt, Sr., M; Dustin Wolf, Sr., M; Chuck Scarlata, Sr., D; D.J. Hendricks, Sr., D; Ryan Spannare, Sr., M; Nick Baranowski, Jr., MF.

Outlook: The Bulldogs, with one senior last fall, played in 10 one-goal games, six going into extra time. Keith believes last fall's lessons will pay dividends. Woody is the leader and controls his penalty area. His presence will allow Keith to push more players forward. The middle continues to be the strength with Scarlata in his third season at sweeper and Witt a scoring threat in his fourth season at midfield. Wolf also will be counted on to score, and Baranowski, a transfer from New Jersey, is a welcome addition to the offense.

South River Seahawks

1998 record: 5-12

Coach: Greg Carroll

Top players: Chris Phillips, Sr., G; Jeff Mullenix, Sr., D; Kurt Podrazik, Sr., D; Matt Coughlan, Jr., D; Jack BeVier, Jr., MF; Ryan Miller, Sr., F; Clayton Brault, Jr., F.

Outlook: Carroll is relying heavily on an experienced defense to step up into the offensive flow. Phillips has solidified the goalie position in his second season. Mullenix, Podrazik and Coughlan will be responsible for working the ball from the back. The offense features Miller's speed and touch and Brault's shot. BeVier, a wing last season, drops back to help solidify an untested midfield. Finding a scorer and developing the midfield are Carroll's primary concerns.

St. Mary's Saints

1998 record: 21-2

Coach: John Anderson

Top players: Bobby Van Dyke, Sr., F; Tony Bonacci, Sr., MF; Ryan Shera, Jr., MF; Teddy Turnblacer, Jr., F.

Outlook: The Saints are coming off their finest season, going a perfect 16-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference, capped by a 1-0 win over St. Paul's in the championship game. Anderson, who spent the past two years as JV coach, will be working with a lot of familiar faces. The 6-foot-4 Van Dyke gives the Saints a big target. Bonacci, a tireless worker, will settle in at center midfield with help coming from Shera. Turnblacer directs a young defense at stopper. The Saints will not be as fast, so Anderson wants to control the ball with short passes.

Severn Admirals

1998 record: 11-6-2

Coach: Ian Carr

Top players: Brandon Wright, Jr., D; Doug Mayer, Sr., D; Chris Miller, Sr., D; Brendan O'Mara, Sr., D; Brendan Barry, Jr., M.

Outlook: Carr, a Springfield College grad, had coaching stints at private schools in Maine and Rhode Island before becoming the Admirals' third coach in three years. He's counting on defense while his inexperienced midfield and forwards develop. Wright, a three-year starter, keeps everything organized in back at sweeper with Mayer, Miller and O'Mara around him. Carr would like to see his defense jump into the offensive flow when opportunities arise. The Admirals will use four midfielders, with Barry and Allen in the middle. The Admirals will try a more controlled, short passing game under Carr.

Pub Date: 9/02/99

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