1998 record: 6-4
Coach: Kevin Reilly
Top players: Fred Coleman, WR-DB, Sr.; Lee Cooper, Ot-DT, Sr.; Chuck Faison, RB-DB, Sr.; Shane Farmer, OG-DE, Sr.; Eric Malloy, TE-LB, Sr.; Mike Miller, QB-Lb, Jr.; Patrick Snyder, OT-DT, Sr.; Tristan Stanley, RB-DB, Jr.
Outlook: The Eagles missed the playoffs for the first time in four years last season, and with Eastern Tech, Urbana and C. Milton Wright among their first four games, Aberdeen needs to rediscover its big-game toughness of past years. Reilly has fleet-footed players at the skilled positions, particularly running back, where Faison will get a stiff challenge from three others. Defensively, the Eagles aren't as stable, especially up the middle.
Bel Air Bobcats
1998 record: 9-2
Coach: Bruce Riley
Top players: Joe Cavallio, OT-DE, Sr.; Rob Coffeen, TE-LB, Sr.; Brian Cubbage, RB-LB, Sr., Justin Dominick, OG-DT, Sr.; Brian Lipski, QB-S, Jr.; Jon Wainwright, FB-DT; Brian Yuhas, OG-DT, Sr.
Outlook: The Bobcats' reward for making the state playoffs for the first time in 15 years last season is to regroup after the loss of 21 players to graduation. But don't expect a complete fall from grace by the Bobcats. Cavallio, Coffeen and Wainwright return to a defense that recorded four shutouts in 1998, and Lipski, up from JV, lacks only the running ability of his predecessor, Adam Rafalski. Lipski however, needs help from a running game that lacks a feature back. Bel Air will grow quickly with Wilde Lake, Georgetown Prep and Urbana as its first three games.
C. Milton Wright
1998 record: 10-2
Coach: Steve Harwood
Top players: Derrick Autry, WR-DB, Sr.; Jason Duron, OG, Jr.; Jay Edwards, FB-LB, Sr.; P.J. Hall, QB-DB, Sr.; Justin Rice, WR-DB, Sr.; Brad Rodriguez, TE-DE, Sr.; Mark Venable, OT, Sr.; Carter Yugo, OT-DT, Sr.
Outlook: A state semifinalist last season, the Mustangs have the usual bulk on the offensive line -- averaging 210 -- which should provide Hall, a first-time starter, with enough protection and Edwards with plenty of running room. With three starters back on the defensive line and a tight secondary, look for the Mustangs to hold up against the likes of South Carroll, Westminster and Northern-Calvert among their first six games.
1998 record: 8-2
Coach: Fred Myers
Top players: T.J. Askew, TE-DE, Sr.; Greg Baldwin, QB, Jr.; John Green, OT-DT, Sr.; Brooks Kimbro, OT-DT, Sr.; Shanon Maynard, FB-LB, Sr.; Wayne Mullen, FB-LB, Jr.
Outlook: The last of Harford County's three teams to qualify for last season's state playoffs, the Rams are left with little turnover and depth. Maynard, who is out until the fourth game of the season, is one of the league's best defenders but must become a force on offense as well. Myers has a strong arm in Baldwin, but the receiving corps lacks a real target. Edgewood can only hope a shaky defense can keep it in games.
1998 record: 5-5
Coach: Dave Cesky
Top players: Chris Bennie, NG, Sr.; Keith Clark, RB, Sr.; Jesse Kluttz, OT-DE, Sr.; Ben Landers, OG-DT, Sr.; Nate Liebel, FB-LB, Sr.; Nick Rose, WR-LB, Sr.; Frank Taddeo, RB-LB, Jr.; Matt Toomey, QB-S, Sr.
Outlook: The Cougars appear to be onto something good. Cesky said he has the most experience and depth in 10 years, especially among the junior class. A versatile running attack has Liebel (6-0, 240) leading the way, and Toomey is a heady quarterback. Fallston will be tough to run against; its defensive line averages 225 pounds.
Harford Tech Cobras
1998 record: 3-5
Coach: Tom Nelson
Top players: Donald Blethen, OT-DT, Sr.; Jamaal Booker, TE-DE, Sr.; Ismael Diaz, RB-DB, Sr.; Jesus Gonzales, OL-DB, Sr.; Gene Ringgold, QB-RB, Sr.
Outlook: Nelson continues to bring a positive approach to a growing program. The senior class is in its third year together and could have been more formidable, if several players had returned.
Havre de Grace
1998 record: 1-9
Coach: John Brooks
Top players: Travis Bishop, RB-LB, Jr.; Jovan Brooks, WR-DB, Jr.; Matt Houtz, QB-S, Sr.; Keshawn Johnson, RB-DB, Sr.; Mike Shenk, OL-LB, Sr.; Brian Slagle, TE-DE, Sr.
Outlook: Houtz is a threat to both run and pass, and Brooks hopes a speedy running game leads to more points. With a defensive line that averages 250, the Warriors like their chances against the run.
John Carroll Patriots
1998 record: 8-2
Coach: Sean Ireton
Top players: Kevin Eldreth, RB-FS, Jr.; Justin Fell, C-DT, Sr.; Mike Leatherman, QB-S, Sr.; Nick Perry, OG-NG, Jr.; Eric Rice, FB-LB, Sr.
Outlook: All-everything Scooter Monroe is at Maryland. Returning though, is quarterback Leatherman, whose proficient passing and scrambling will keep defenses guessing. Ireton looks to re-establish the running game with Rice. Three-year starter Perry leads a strong middle defense.
1998 record: 2-8
Coach: Greg Komondor
Top players: Dave Brown, TE-LB, Jr.; John Harris, OG-LB, Sr.; Bryant Jones, RB, Jr.; Kris Keels, FB-LB, Sr.; James Murray, OT-DT, Jr.; Reggie Robinson, QB-S, Sr.
Outlook: Komondor has a noticeable increase in size and strength along the line of scrimmage, but the offensive front five needs cohesiveness. If that occurs, Jones figures to better his 700 yards and six touchdowns of a year ago. Their field being renovated, the Mariners play all 10 games on the road.
North Harford Hawks
1998 record: 4-6
Coach: Fred Foster
Top players: Tom Clisham, OG-DT, Sr.; Chris Martin, WR-DB, Sr.; Justin Phelps, WR-DE, Sr.; Doug Testerman, QB-FS, Sr.; Mike Walker, FB-LB, Jr.; Jason Wells, TE-DE, Sr.
Outlook: This season brings promise. Foster expects a higher level of play with 19 players having a least two years of experience. Testerman is the workhorse on defense and becomes quarterback. Martin will likely do a little of everything on offense. Ultimately, the Hawks' defense must show it can rise to the occasion.
Pub Date: 9/02/99