Welcome to the 2013 Enoch Office/Varsity Sports Network 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.

As we progress towards the regular season, we will countdown our 2013 Enoch Office/VSN Football Preseason Rankings from No. 20 all the way to No. 1.

3. River Hill Hawks (click link for video / photos)

2012 record: 14-0 (Class 3A state champions; No. 2 in final VSN Top 20)

Coach: Brian Van Deusen (14th season; 137-23)

Returning starters – 7

Key returning starters – Sam Carnock, Sr., center, 6-2, 240; Anthony Corrao, Sr., defensive end/offensive guard, 6-0, 225; Cory Daniel, Sr., tight end/linebacker, 6-2, 220; Chris Galloway, Sr., running back/cornerback, 5-9, 175; Brian Kirby, Jr., linebacker, 6-0, 220; Logan Kirby, Sr., offensive guard/defensive end, 6-0, 215; Cyrus Vaughan, Sr., inside linebacker, 5-10, 180

Key returning players – Chris Dugan, Jr., split end/linebacker, 5-11, 170; Charlie McLaughlin, Jr., split end/safety, 5-11, 165; Kalonji Moore, Jr., inside linebacker/running back; Drew Pritchard, Sr., quarterback, 6-2, 190

Key newcomers – Aiden Gelb, Jr., running back/safety, 5-10, 175; Roger Haid, Jr., offensive tackle, 6-1, 260; John Kanda, Jr., split end/defensive end; 6-3, 195; Tyler Smith, Jr., offensive tackle, 6-1, 260

Outlook –  The Hawks graduated a host of critical assets from its 2012 championship squad, but the Howard County school is again the favorite to claim a third consecutive Class 3A state title. The Clarksville school welcomes back 23 seniors.

Pritchard takes over the signal calling duties from Austin Altman (now at Wesley College), who was Howard County’s offensive player of the year and second-team Big School All-State selection. Van Deusen said Pritchard gives the Hawks a strong vertical presence.

“He’ll step right in and keep us going,” said Van Deusen.

Galloway is the biggest breakaway threat in a crop of new running backs for the Hawks after the graduation of their top three rushers in 2012 (Justin Arn, Evan Griffin & Stephan Osong). Daniel, a first-team All-Howard pick last fall, is the Hawks’ top returning receiver. 

The line will be the Hawks’ strength with Carnock, Corrao and Logan Kirby back with promising newcomers Haid and Smith.

“We’re going to be a bigger [on line] and a lot more experienced,” said Van Deusen. “We lost our skill guys but we got some real good kid with potential. They just didn’t get a lot of reps.”

Logan Kirby (first-team all-Howard County) and second-teamer Corrao will anchor the defensive front with Daniel, Moore, Vaughn and Brian Kirby leading the linebackers. Moore missed most of the remainder of the 2012 campaign.

Galloway and McLaughlin highlight the secondary. Despite losing consensus All-State defensive back in Griffin and all-Howard first-teamers Osong and Noah Carter, Van Deusen believes the defense will be stronger in 2013.

The Hawks’ toughest games could be on the road this season with a showdown with Atholton in week three, and Mount Hebron (reached Class 3A East Region playoffs last fall) and Wilde Lake back-to-back in early October. River Hill will enter 2013 with the area’s longest winning streak – 24 games.

“If we can get that same kind of balance offensively, we’ll be solid,” said Van Deusen, who will coach Maryland in the Big 33 contest next summer. “Defensively, we’ll have to be aggressive and create turnovers. We’re trying to create three a game, so if we do that, I”ll think we’ll be alright.”

2013 schedule

van deusenSept. 6 at Glenelg (6-4 in 2012)…Hawks last loss to Glenelg in 2002.

Sept. 12 vs. Marriotts Ridge (2-8)…River Hill has outscored Mustangs, 267-12, in five meetings.

Sept. 20 at Atholton (10-2)…Hawks defeated Raiders, 35-27, in last year’s Class 3A East Region finals.

Sept. 27 vs. Centennial (3-7)…River Hill has outscored Eagles, 190-29, over last four matchups.

Oct. 4 at Mount Hebron (6-5)…Hawks defeated Vikings twice last season.

Oct. 11 at Wilde Lake (5-5)…River Hill has won last nine regular season decisions.

Oct. 18 vs. Hammond (5-5)…Bears are last team to defeat Hawks (won 12-9 in 2011) 

Oct. 25 vs. Oakland Mills (0-10)…Hawks have outscored Scorpions, 204-42, in last four meetings.

Nov. 1 at Howard (5-5)…River Hill has outscored Lions, 120-27, in last three meetings.

Nov. 8 vs. Reservoir (6-5)…Hawks averaging 41.7 points over last three matches.