Gladiators look to rule again in Howard County

Glenelg will look to Drew Stoka in its defense of the Howard County title in 2019. The Gladiators reached the Class 2A state final last season.

With practice for the 2019 high school football season a few days away, Varsity Sports Network’s Derek Toney takes a look at the regular season itinerary for select area teams.

Glenelg Gladiators

2018 record: 13-1 (Class 2A state finalist)

Overview: The Gladiators reached their first state championship game, losing to Frederick County’s Oakdale in the Class 2A final. The Howard County champions will look to tight end/defensive end Drew Stoka, a Baltimore Touchdown Club Super 22 pick, senior running back Kyle Dry and kicker Chris Retzbach and junior linemen Keith Pak.

Toughest 2019 opponent: River Hill. The Hawks could be the favorite to dethrone the Gladiators in Howard County. The Clarksville school returns arguably the area’s top public senior in Beau Brade, who’s committed to the University of Maryland, along with senior running back Jordan Perry and junior linebacker Zach Igwebe.

Most intriguing 2019 opponent: Long Reach. The Lightning should also challenge for the Howard County crown. The Columbia school may have the league’s best offense with senior quarterback Jose Ribalta, junior wideout Chris Martin and sophomore running back Julius Saunders.

By a number: 13. Consecutive victories for Glenelg against Howard County competition, including playoffs, since 2017.

2019 schedule

Sept. 6 vs. Marriotts Ridge (4-6)

Sept. 13 vs. Delaware’s Smyrna (3-6)

Sept. 20 at Urbana (2-8)

Sept. 27 at Westminster (8-4)

Oct. 4 vs. Howard (8-3)

Oct. 11 at Oakland Mills (7-4)

Oct. 18 at River Hill (8-4)

Nov. 1 at Long Reach (7-4)