Calvert Hall football coach Donald Davis has the same three goals every year when his team comes together for summer practice.
“We want to compete and give ourselves a chance in every game we play ... we want to be in the hunt for an MIAA league championship ... and we want to beat Loyola,” Davis said.
Calvert Hall didn't reach those goals during a 3-9 season in 2013. The final one eluded the Cardinals in the 2013 Turkey Bowl at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium when Loyola Blakefield’s Jake Nordhausen blocked an extra point in overtime to preserve a 21-20 Dons' victory.
That loss snapped a four-game winning streak over the Dons. Calvert Hall and Loyola will play this season on Nov. 27 at M&T Stadium.
The Cardinals open the 2014 campaign at home on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Irvine, Calif.
Running the show for the Cardinals will be senior quarterback Kenju Bahar (6 feet 3, 170 pounds).
“He owns the offense,” Davis said. “He understands exactly what we want to do as a staff. He gets it.”
Senior running back Damien Farmer (5-9, 170) was the leading rusher last year and he’ll be supported by junior Kevin Thomas (5-11, 175) and sophomore Tim Smith (5-11, 205).
Three of the five wideouts who saw significant time last season return, including senior Lawrence Cager (6-5, 210), junior Morgan Scroggins (6-1, 180) and sophomore B.J. Watson (5-6, 170).
Sophomore Cameron Brooks (5-9, 175) could also see action at wide receiver.
Juniors Tyler Burton (5-11, 210) and Jimmy Crowley (6-1, 175) are the tight ends.
The offensive line boasts a pair of two-year varsity starters in senior left guard Marcellus Harrison (6-foot, 285) and senior center Drew Devanney (6-1, 235).
They’ll be joined by senior left tackle Ed Harris (6-foot, 260), senior right guard Anthony Tirabassi (5-11, 230) and junior right tackle Ben Hoffner (6-3, 265).
Sophomore Malik Montague (6-1, 315) could use his size on the offensive line, but he will form a solid rotation at defensive nose guard with Romel Little (6-0, 330).
Junior David Biggers (6-1, 240), a transfer from Parkville High, and senior Chris Stefan (6-1, 235) are on the interior line and seniors Riley Miller (5-11, 215) and Jeff Wheaton (6-1, 215) are flanking them.
Three rotating linebackers manning the middle include Jaire Dorsey (5-11, 180), McGuire Hayes (6-0, 200) and Stephen Degross (5-8,190).
Outside linebackers are sophomore Tyshon Fogg (6-2, 215) and juniors Brandon Wade (6-2, 175) and Colin McCarthy (6-2, 185).
McCarthy is currently nursing a back injury.
Experience lies in the defensive backfield where Wake Forest University commitment Dionte Austin (6-1, 170) joins senior classmates Jaelon Linton (5-10, 180) and Bryan Marine (5-11, 175) and junior Nijuel Hill (5-10, 185).
Junior Pete Fererra is the returning place kicker.
“If we are healthy we are going to be good,” Davis said. “I love the kids enthusiasm and they are playing well together.”