Wilde Lake Wildecats
Last year: 2-8 overall, 2-7 league.
Coach: Doug DuVall, 31st season (263-59).
Last playoff appearance: 2002, lost in 3A quarterfinals.
Keep an eye on: RB/CB Tony Coffield knows it's finally his turn. He waited patiently last season as 10 seniors, all now playing in college, were the center of attention. But he knew his time would come.
Coffield hired a personal trainer during the offseason to improve his running technique and bulked up with plymetric training and six hours a week in the weight room.
"Tony has always been a good player but had never been that exceptional player because he wasn't fast enough and didn't have the strength he needed," Coach Doug DuVall said. "Until now."
The 5-foot-8, 176-pound Coffield, who had just 18 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown last season, will be expected to play a major role in the running game, alongside senior running back Nate Yarborough (13 carries, 117 yards).
Coffield feels his offseason regimen, which lowered his time in the 40-yard dash to 4.5 seconds and boosted his bench press to 300 pounds, will lead him to a breakthrough season. And so does DuVall.
"We've had a lot of great running backs at Wilde Lake, and now is Tony's chance to rank right up there with them," DuVall said. "He looks like a completely different player than last year. We're expecting big things from him."
Though Wilde Lake's running game brought it success in the past, it's an uncertain part of the game this season. The team will replace one of the biggest offensive lines in school history with last year's reserves, led by senior Matt Learner.
Defensively, senior linemen Marcus Dumorium and Gil Carmona and junior Jared Flag will lead the front seven, which will be backed by a speedy and experienced secondary.
Seniors Doug Decker, Nate Andorsky and Yarborough will complement Coffield on what should be a much-improved unit. Last year the defense surrendered 10 touchdown passes -- twice as many as it did in 2002.
"I think we learned a lot from last year's seniors, and we want to show that we are good enough to play in college," Coffield said. "The best way to do that is to win the county title and go far in the playoffs."