2A South Region

Coach: Chuck Fales (fifth season, 5-35).

Last year: 1-9 overall, 1-8 league.

Last postseason appearance/state title: 1985/none.

Returning starters on offense/defense: 7/7.

Players to watch: C/DT Travis Fales, Sr.; WR/DB Dean Hart, Sr.; RB/LB Patrick Hayden, Sr.; OL/DL Sonny Mazzullo, Sr.; QB Brett McQuilkin, Jr.; RB/LB Matt Winger, Sr.

Run with it: The Raiders have one of the county's fastest backfields, with three players -- junior Troy Gibson, junior Tochi Odochi and Winger -- who can run 40 yards in 4.5 seconds. Having rushed for 993 yards and four touchdowns on 161 carries last season, Winger is the team's first option; but Coach Fales expects plenty of carries for Gibson and Odochi, who combined to lead the junior varsity to an undefeated season last fall.

Ballcarriers beware: Three top defensive linemen -- Fales (the coach's son), senior Adam Smith and Mazzullo -- return to give the team a formidable front.

What Fales first looks for in a player: "Determination and heart. Don't get me wrong, size is nice, but I'll take a determined player who plays with heart over a complete stud muffin who's a wimp."

Above left, Oakland Mills receiver Rick Gonzalez looks for yards after being caught by Atholton defenders, including Paul Fischer (46), during a scrimmage. Above is Atholton ballcarrier Geoffrey Easterling. At left is Atholton defender Sonny Mazzullo, right. Atholton went 1-9 last season, but its junior varsity was undefeated. The Raiders have one of the county's fastest backfields in junior Troy Gibson, junior Tochi Odochi and senior Matt Winger.