Lions ready to get back on title prowl

Darius Anthony (21) is among the players back for Howard in 2019. The Lions reached the Class 4A state playoffs 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.

Howard Lions

2018 record: 9-2 (Class 4A North Region semifinalist)

Overview: The Lions reached the Class 4A state postseason for the sixth straight year in 2018. The Ellicott City school will be led by senior defensive back/wide receiver Darius Anthony, junior Connor Hawkins (quarterback/wide receiver/defensive back) and all-Howard league punter Harrison Robbins-Green (kicker).

Toughest 2019 opponent: River Hill. The Hawks could be the favorite 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: Glenelg. The Gladiators ended Howard’s four-year reign as Howard County champs en route to their first state final (2A). Glenelg 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.

By a number: 8. Teams with winning records in 2018 Howard will play in 2019.

2019 schedule

Sept. 6 vs. Reservoir (4-6 in 2018)

Sept. 13 at South Hagerstown (8-3)

Sept. 20 at Loyola Blakefield (6-4)

Sept. 27 vs. Sherwood (7-4)

Oct. 4 at Glenelg (13-1)

Oct. 11 at Wilde Lake (6-4)

Oct. 18 vs. Oakland Mills (7-4)

Oct. 25 at Long Reach (7-4)

Nov. 1 at River Hill (8-4)