Preseason Top 15

1. River Hill

1998 record: 19-1

Skinny: The Hawks graduated only two players and return All-Metro striker Adom Crew and All-Metro defender Elliott Marquis from their No. 1-ranked team, which won its second straight Class 2A state title. What effect will moving to Class 3A have on their state title aspirations?

2. Archbishop Curley

1998 record: 17-1-1

Skinny: The Friars return seven starters, including three All-Metro players, from a No. 2-ranked team that recorded a school-record 17 shutouts.

3. McDonogh

1998 record: 22-3-1

Skinny: The Eagles return seven starters from their first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship team, but must recover from graduating nine seniors.

4. Mount Hebron

1998 record: 14-2-1

Skinny: Will the return of junior All-Metro goalkeeper Greg Peters and junior All-County midfielder Matt White, along with the addition of several excellent players, be enough to produce the first state title for the Howard County champion, Class 2A Vikings?

5. Oakland Mills

1998 record: 17-2

Skinny: The Scorpions have won more state titles than any other school (nine) and return 10 seniors from a Class 1A state-championship team. Will they have the depth to repeat?

6. Wilde Lake

1998 record: 11-5

Skinny: The Wildecats, winners of seven state titles, lost to Thomas Stone in a shootout at last fall's Class 3A state semifinals and have all but one starter back. The junior-dominated team might have to overcome senior-dominated River Hill in the playoffs.

7. Chesapeake-AA

1998 record: 17-3

Skinny: The Cougars, defending Class 4A state champions, return most of their defense but must replace the 44 goals scored by three of last fall's seniors.

8. Calvert Hall

1998 record: 12-9-1

Skinny: The Cardinals return five starters and expect to field a multi-talented squad that has depth and enough quality to challenge the top MIAA teams.

9. Patapsco

1998 record: 12-5

Skinny: The Patriots, state Class 2A runners-up, return seven starters, including four-year starting goalkeeper, 6-foot-2, 240-pound Eric Lloyd. The Patriots are banking on four new starters to step up.

10. Franklin

1998 record: 13-3

Skinny: The Baltimore County champion and region finalist returns five starters and expect to field another strong offensive team. Can the graduation-depleted defense be revitalized??

11. Loyola

1998 record: 14-6-1

Skinny: The Dons are coming off their best record in 15 years and return seven starters. They can't afford to go winless against Archbishop Curley and McDonogh again.

12. Fallston

1998 record: 12-5-2

Skinny: The Cougars were Harford County co-champs and Class 3A state semifinalists, losing in overtime to eventual state co-champ Linganore. The Cougars return a balanced offense, but are they good enough to improve on last season's 10 shutouts?

13. Bel Air

1998 record: 9-6

Skinny: The Bobcats have added depth and speed, and bring back seven starters from a Harford County co-championship team that started five sophomores.

14. Glen Burnie

1998 record: 10-4-1

Skinny: Seven starters are back, including an athletic defense. After graduating their top scorer, can the Gophers' offense respond?

15. Perry Hall

1998 record: 11-4-1

Skinny: The Gators return 12 players, including five starters, and should have a solid defense. Inexperience at midfield is a concern.

Pub Date: 9/02/99

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