Welcome to Varsity Sports Network’s 2010 preseason Top 20 football poll. VSN ranks the top teams in the Baltimore region which covers public and private schools in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County and Howard County.
1. Gilman School (7-3 last season)
Player to watch: Darius Jennings, Sr., QB
Quick slant: Led by four-star recruit Jennings, defending MIAA A champs may have best squad since 2002 Greyhound team that featured Victor Abiamiri (Philadelphia Eagles) and Ambrose Wooden.
2. Old Mill (12-2)
Player to watch: Demond Brown, Sr., RB
Quick slant: Defending Class 4A state champs look for an encore with nine starters back and addition of Brown, an All-Anne Arundel County pick at Annapolis last fall.
3. Calvert Hall College (8-4)
Player to watch: Adrian Amos, Sr., DB
Quick slant: After strong finish in 2009, Cardinals have pieces in place to make run at MIAA A crown this fall.
4. River Hill (13-1)
Player to watch: Brent Kluge, Sr., RB/LB
Quick slant: Hawks hoping to return to M & T Bank Stadium in December after missing a chance at fourth straight state title game trip last season.
5. Arundel (11-1)
Player to watch: Nick Rosati, Sr., QB
Quick slant: Wildcats will be again a postseason threat in Class 4A with versatile Rosati running offense.
6. Broadneck (8-2)
Player to watch: Nick Ochoa, Sr., LB
Quick slant: With eight defensive starters back, Bruins are hungry after barely missing Class 4A playoffs last fall.
7. Dunbar (11-2)
Player to watch: Deontay McManus, Jr., WR/DB
Quick slant: Revamped Poets look to get back to Class 1A finals after being denied fourth straight crown last season.
8. Eastern Tech (13-1)
Player to watch: Dan McManus, Sr., OL/DL
Quick slant: Defending Class 2A champs will again be a force with five starters back on both sides.
9. Loyola Blakefield (7-4)
Player to watch: Luke Ilardo, Sr., OL
Quick slant: Dons should be back in MIAA A title hunt after young squad took bumps in 2009.
10. Archbishop Spalding (10-1)
Player to watch: KK Smith, Sr., RB/LB
Quick slant: Cavaliers again the team to beat in MIAA B with Smith and JD Izon leading veteran nucleus.
11. Poly (9-2)
Player to watch: Gabriel Ali-El, Sr., RB
Quick slant: Powerful backfield has Engineers ready to challenge Dunbar in Baltimore City league.
12. Hereford (10-2)
Player to watch: Vince DePaola, Sr., RB
Quick slant: The Bulls are young, but promising line corps along with DePaola and senior Tim Bristol should keep them among the elite in Baltimore County.
13. North Harford (8-3)
Player to watch: Brandon Bayer, Sr., RB
Quick slant: Hawks ready to challenge Joppatowne for UCBAC supremacy with six starters back on offense and seven on defense.
14. Franklin (9-3)
Player to watch: Navassa Brown, Sr., Ath.
Quick slant: Indians are arguably most athletic team in Baltimore County, plus have eight starters back on defense.
15. City College (7-3)
Player to watch: Tre James, Sr., FB/DE
Quick slant: Eight returning defensive starters plus several transfers could equal big season for Knights.
16. Chesapeake-Baltimore County (10-2)
Player to watch: Corey Polston, Sr., Athlete
Quick slant: Bayhawks look for encore after impressive 2009 campaign including win over eventual 2A state champ Eastern Tech.
17. Joppatowne (13-1)
Player to watch: Joel Scott, Sr., FB
Quick slant: Mariners’ hopes of another Class 1A state title run will rely on solid defense maintaining while young offense gain experience.
18. Atholton (10-2)
Player to watch: Andrew King, Sr., RB/DB
Quick slant: With 18 returning letter winners, Raiders look to follow up strong 2009 campaign and challenge River Hill for supremacy in Howard County.
19. Boys’ Latin (10-1)
Player to watch: Marco Jones, Sr., OL/DL
Quick slant: Veteran defensive unit hopes to lead Lakers back to MIAA B championship game.
20. Century (7-4)
Player to watch: Joey Trombetta, Sr., RB/DB
Quick slant: The Knights, winners of 13 straight league games, have sights on a third straight Carroll County crown.
Other teams considered: McDonogh School (8-2), North County (6-4), Patterson (9-3), Westminster (4-6)