Charles County Community College's final fall athletic season before joining Calvert and St. Mary's Colleges as the College of Southern Maryland begins Sunday, when the men's soccer team plays Bryant & Stratton in La Plata. The Hawks will take the field under Coach Carlos Silva with more returning players than they have had in six years, so they will have a chance to surpass last year's disappointing 9-7-1 finish.

The Hawks won the Region XX title in 1993, 1996 and 1997, and hope to contend again with an experienced lineup that includes second-team all-American midfielder Ricky Brown (Thomas Stone). Brown's stature (5-foot-3, 127 pounds) belies a pace and strength on the ball that produced 19 goals and 11 assists in 1998.

Bill Ellin was Silva's assistant the past two seasons but chose to take over the women's program this fall.

"I saw a big need for improvement over the previous two seasons," Ellin said. "There were a lot of talented players not getting the right coaching."

Defender Laura Dye (Thomas Stone) is the only player returning from last year's 7-6 team. Ellin took the job in January and had little time to recruit, but he was able to secure the services of Valerie Raby, a Westlake graduate who Ellin expects to be one of the conference's top scorers.

The men's tennis team will return two players from last year's Region XX champions. Brian Lancaster (La Plata) and Mark Marbino (McDonough) will compete for the top spot with recruits such as Chopticon High's top player, George Steinback, and McDonough's Scott Ruest.

The team was 7-2 last year, and Coach Scott Lee feels the team has the players to remain competitive. "We won't be dominant," he said, "but with the recruits we have, we'll be right there."

The women's volleyball team will begin its season at the Potomac State Tournament in West Virginia on Sept. 7 and the Essex Invitational in Baltimore on Sept. 11. The Hawks finished 15-13 and third in Region XX last season.

Coach Michelle Ruble said she is excited about returning outside hitter Marie Pearsson (Great Mills), who was voted the third-best player in the region in 1998, and by the new faces she has attracted to the program.

"We went out on a mission and recruited a very talented freshman class," Ruble said. That class includes second-team All-Met outside hitter Denise Hartnett (McDonough) and honorable mention All-Met setter Jen McGee (Bowie).

St. Mary's College

It has been a busy offseason for St. Mary's coaches. Sailing Coach Adam Werblow was named the U.S. Sailing developmental coach of the year on Aug. 25. Werblow came to St. Mary's in 1988, has led the Seahawks to six national intercollegiate titles and coached more than 50 Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association all-Americans. He was a member of the U.S. Sailing Team from 1989 to 1992.

Othell Wilson has been promoted from assistant men's basketball coach to head coach. Wilson played for the University of Virginia's NCAA Final Four teams in 1981 and 1984 and for the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA.

He was a graduate assistant at Virginia before coming to St. Mary's in 1998. The Seahawks finished 13-13 last year.

Andre Barbins was named head men's and women's swimming coach after serving as the interim coach last year. The women finished 9-2 and the men 5-3.

Melissa Moore replaces Laura Biggs as women's lacrosse and field hockey coach. Biggs left St. Mary's to coach lacrosse at Marymount in Arlington. Moore had been her assistant.