Breaking down the Gladiators’ 2017 schedule

wande owens

Wande Owens had an impressive sophomore campaign for Glenelg football last fall, rushing for 2,504 yards. The Gladiators reached the Class 3A state semifinals.

With the start of practice for the 2017 high school football season approaching, Varsity Sports Network’s Derek Toney takes a look at the regular season itinerary for select area teams.

Glenelg Gladiators

2016 record: 10-3 (Class 3A state semifinalist)

2016 review: The Gladiators reached the 3A state final four for the second time in three seasons and was runner-up in the Howard County league. Wande Owens, who shattered the league single-season rushing mark as a sophomore, returns along with 15 letter-winners.

2017 opponents’ win/loss record (from 2016): 46-60 (.434)

Toughest 2017 opponent: Howard. The Lions have won the last two Howard County crowns and reached the 4A state semifinals last season (lost in 2015 state final). Ross Hannon takes over for Bruce Strunk (stepped down in January) and has 20 letterwinners back, including all-league running back Devin Dawkins and linebacker Ryan Kearney.

Most intriguing 2017 opponent: Long Reach. The Lightning will seek an encore after their breakout playoff season last year. The Columbia school has all-league first-teamers Chad Brown (defensive back) and Spencer Willis (offensive line) and second-teamers KaDarrian Booker (running back), Michael Zeleznik (defensive line), Reggie Dillion (offensive line) and Derrick Noble (wide receiver) back.

By a number: 20. Points allowed by Glenelg in its last two victories over Howard, which won 32 straight league decisions in between.

2017 schedule

Sept. 2 at Howard (11-2)

Sept. 8 vs. Mount Hebron (2-8)

Sept. 15 vs. Marriotts Ridge (5-5)

Sept. 22 at Hammond (0-10)

Sept. 29 vs. Reservoir (4-6)

Oct. 6 at Atholton (6-4)

Oct. 14 at Wilde Lake (6-5)

Oct. 20 vs. Oakland Mills (4-6)

Oct. 27 at River Hill (7-5)

Nov. 3 vs. Centennial (1-9)