St. John's football Coach Doonie Waldron may have the best description for the Metro Conference this fall: it can be divided into A and B divisions, Waldron says, but any "B" team is capable of playing with any of the "A" squads.
Carroll has almost everyone back and is the favorite to take this season's title. But De Matha, McNamara and Gonzaga also stand good chances to win the championship. Waldron's "B" division consists of his own St. John's team, Good Counsel, and O'Connell.
Carroll not only has several starters returning from last year's 8-3 team but there is much talent from a strong '82 JV squad. Quarterback Kenny Lucas returns, along with running backs Jonathan Brookings, Brian Murphy and Darren Robinson.
De Matha Coach Bill McGregor has lost 27 players from last season's championship team. Offensive guard Jack Reybold returns, along with junior tailback Mike Anderson, who rushed for 700 yards last season despite not starting every game. Basketball star Drew Komlo will quarterback. Defensively, cornerback Lance Clift moves to end.
McNamara probably has more depth than it's had in several years. Steve Piazza will take over as quarterback and is expected to have little trouble running the offense out of the I.
Gonzaga has back linebackers Todd Dickens and Mark Mullen, tackle Michael Carr and back Scott McCaleb. Jamie Howell returns at halfback.
O'Connell returns 10 starters, the most important possibly junior running back Eric Metcalf, son of former NFL star Terry Metcalf. With Metcalf and two other veterans, O'Connell's running game will be the strong point offensively and helps offset the questions surrounding the vacant quarterback spot. Only two starters return on defense, including tackle Tommy Reilly.
St. John's will rely on last year's JV quarterback, Eric Ellis. The Cadets' strength has to be on defense, where end Darryl Heggins (also a running back), free safety Joe Rossi and outside linebacker Dennis Shea are back.
Good Counsel has all-league running back Joe Cardaci and the strong arm of untested quarterback Kevin Durbin. The defense, behind returning linebacker Anthony Carestia, should be strong. Kicker/punter Mike McLane should help.
In the Interstate Athletic Conference, St. Albans could easily win the IAC this season. The offense doesn't look to be much of a problem, especially with the return of standout running back Jesse Jackson
St. Stephen's offense will be handled by quarterback Craig Dyson, who has some game experience and has Thompson's confidence. Dyson is aided by a good backfield and receiver corps. Defensively, a solid secondary should make it hard to pass against them.
Landon's offense will be led by quarterback Jimmy Monroe and 6-foot-5, 235-pound offensive lineman Lance High, and running backs John Gilbert and Herb Toler.
At Georgetown Prep senior Pat Garrett takes over the quarterback chores and will be aided in the backfield by Martin Sumicrast. Senior linebacker Jimmy McKeenen will lead an inexperienced defense.
Episcopal has Mark Jones and Matt Long, who have had limited playing time in the backfield. Returning tackles Henry Doyle and Bill Percival will lead the defense, but the secondary is a problem.
Friends has back quarterback Mark Lesko, running back William Dunning and tight end John Horning.
Bullis will be anchored by two-way players Matt Harris and Richie Lynch. Fullback Javan Bayne is back and Ted Gaertner will probably be the quarterback.
Model's strength is in its backfield, where leading scorer Sean Markel and fullback Robert Wilkins return. But without an experienced quarterback and offensive line, the offense will have trouble establishing itself. Linebacker Toselli Silvestri, the leading tackler, is back and the secondary was not hurt by graduation.