The Aegis 2023 high school football preview: Kyle Ashman, Evan Alcide among players to watch

Sep. 1—Friday night lights are back and there are plenty of reasons to be excited about football in Harford County.

The success of C. Milton Wright will hinge largely on its quarterback play after Kyle Ashman, now a junior, finished last season throwing 1,120 passing yards at a 58% completion rate and two rushing touchdowns. Fallston is coming off a 4-6 season but boasts one of the best second-line defenders in the county. That's junior linebacker Evan Alcide, who was the Cougars' leading tackler who added 25 pounds of muscle this offseason.

Bel Air and Edgewood are expected to be among the teams to beat — both groups have solid returning upperclassmen cores coming off one- and three-loss seasons a year ago.

Here's a look around the county (Editor's note: not all teams responded to requests for information):


Coach: Kelvin Harris, fifth season

Last year: 0-10, regional quarterfinalist

Top returners: Juniors Kelsyn Harris (QB) and Terrez Boothe (LB).

Newcomers to watch: Sophomores Tavon Baines (RB) and Cameron Durbin (WR).

Coach's outlook: "We were an 0-10 team, we are excited to prove that we belong. My guys dealt with a lot and now it is their turn to show the county what 'Deen football is about."

Bel Air

Coach: Eric Siegel, fifth season

Last year: 10-1, regional semifinalist

Top returners: Seniors Devin Trzeciak (OLB/WR/K), Aiden Valentin (DB/WR), Trenton Diepold (LB/OL), Jonthan Zylka (OL/DL), Charles Hammond (WR/DB) and Talan Johns (OL/DL); juniors Michael Graham (OLB/WR), Evan Freeney (LB/RB) and Matthew Valente (OL/DL).

Newcomers to watch: Senior Jared Fletcher (WR/DB); juniors Joël Tristan Ouandji Nana (RB/LB), Julien Horton (WR/DB) and Patrick Sullivan (QB); freshman Owen Reilly (OL/DL).

Coach's outlook: "The Bel Air Bobcats coaching staff is very excited about the mix of youth and senior leadership that has been displayed so far this year. We like the progress that has been made so far and are excited with where the team is headed. We look forward to improving every single day and watching these student-athletes compete this season."

C. Milton Wright

Coach: Larry Ashman, second season

Last year: 6-3

Top returners: Seniors Brady Ashman (WR/DB), Kyle Frank (RB/DB), Brewer Fullwood (TE/LB), Hayden Goscinski (RB/LB), Luciano Higgins (WR/DB), Kevin Kolb (WR/DB), Luke Longerbeam (OL/DL), Josh Osuagwu (OL/DL), Quantae Salters (RB/DB), Lucas Seifert (TE/DE), Joel Tufts (OL/LB) and John Weber (OL/DL); junior Kyle Ashman (QB).

Newcomers to watch: Junior AJ Camarote (WR/DB), Landon Krepps (WR/DB), Brayden Ruby (WR/DB) and Nathan Whetzel (OL/DL); sophomores Michael Holcomb (OL/DL), Jaxson Simms (RB/LB) and Brandon Tolson (WR/DB).

Coach's outlook: "The Mustangs are returning 15 starters this season and hope to capitalize on their experience and improve their 6-3 record from last year. Both offseason workouts and preseason camp have been strong. The coaching staff is pleased with the senior leadership and play on the field. They believe that this Mustang team has the potential to go deep in the playoffs this year."


Coach: Keith Rawlings, third season

Last year: 8-3, regional semifinalists

Top returners: Seniors Jahmir Torres (ATH), Jacob Martin (WR), Michael Lee (WR/DB), Mekhi Georges (RB/LB), Casear Travers (QB), Frank Barnett (WR/DB), Elfred Segbe (WR/LB), Carson Crouse (K), Elian Ortiz (OL/DL), Jordan Zakes (OL/DL), Shemarr Gaddy (OL/DL) and Saint Thomas (DE/LB); juniors Darius Fleming (RB/LB), Jesiah Stokes (OL/DL) and Miles Putney (OL/DL).

Newcomers to watch: Senior Christian Burns (OL/DL); juniors TJ Wesson (WR/LB), Tyler Martin (ATH), Quintin Williams (WR/DB), Terrence Powell (OL/DL), Malachi Coates (LB), Shane Tressler (LB) and Tyrone Williams (OL/DL); sophomores Charles Brown (WR/DB), Jayden Harvin (ATH) and Anton Powell (WR/DB)

Coach's outlook: "We are looking forward to being able to compete against a talented City College team Week 1, followed by a county schedule that includes a number of good teams that will be tough competition every week of the season. We hope to make a deep run into the playoffs this year. In 2023 for our team to be successful, we will have to be explosive on offense, control the ball and limit our turnovers. On defense, we will look to create turnovers, pressure the opponents QBs, play fast and make sure we tackle well. Our special teams have to be solid. We have to increase our field position and limit big plays by our opponents."


Coach: Keith Robinson, third season

Last year: 4-6

Top Returners: Seniors Landon Mills (OL/DL), Brody Fitzkee (WR), Max Rueckert (OLB), Ryan Murimi (Slot/DB) and Jason Roberts (P/K/QB); junior Evan Alcide (RB/OLB).

Newcomers to watch: Junior Kael Morosko (LB); sophomores Oliver Rueckert (DL), Zach Loewe (Slot/DB) and Cooper Savelle (DE).

Coaches outlook: "After winning the [Susquehanna Division] championship in 2021, five of the six '22 losses came down to the last drive or the last play (final two games lost on last play FG attempts). The Cougars were very close last year, but brought up a young crop of JV players that only lost one game in two years. We expect to be right in the middle of the division title race again in 2023. Our toughest game may very well be week 1 against Bel Air. After beating Bel Air, 38-29, in 2021, Fallston fell, 20-13, in 2022 in what has become a renewed rivalry."

Harford Tech

Coach: Brad Hunt, first year

Last year: 8-4, 2A/1A state semifinalist

Top returners: Seniors Troy Wallace Jr. (DB/RB), Thomas Smith (QB) Junior Aderomilehin (WR/DB), Ryan Bulger (WR/DB), Rexford Bibio (DB/WR), Donte Evans (RB/LB) and Ethen Oakley (DL/OL); juniors Jamaal Pearl Jr. (RB/LB) and Karon Evans (RB/SS).

Newcomers to watch: Juniors Josh Baer (LB) and Luke Kelly (DL); sophomore Stephen Kelley (QB).

Coach's outlook: "We are trying to continue with the culture and success over the last six years."

Havre de Grace

Coach: Brian Eberhardt, seventh season

Last year: 0-10

Top returners: N/A

Newcomers to watch: N/A

Coach's outlook: "We will be a very young and inexperienced varsity football team. Looking to make improvements on a week-to-week basis."

John Carroll

Coach: Mark Modeste, second season

Last year: 5-6

Top returners: Seniors DJ Fronek (QB), Luke Robinson (QB/DB), JoJo Aidoo (DE/RB), Dougie Kolb (ILB/RB), Alex Russell (WR/DB), Cole Cernik (OL) and Ben Shutt (LB/WR).

Newcomers to watch: Junior Myles Britt (OL/DL).

Coach's outlook: "We have a senior-heavy, focused group. Talent in every position group. How we prepare will determine our success. Knowing these young men won't be a problem, they are workers. But it's a process and that is one of the many life lessons this sport teaches."


Coach: Albert Goode III, second season

Last year: 11-2, state semifinalist

Top returners: Seniors Kendrick Williams (CB/WR), Marquis Dobbins (LB), Mehki Belton (S/RB) and Damien Brooks (WR/S); junior Lamar Watts (ATH); sophomore Xavier Stacker (LT/DT).

Newcomers to watch: Senior Robert Martin (CB/QB); sophomore Zion Elee (DE); sophomore Juel Logan (DT).

Coach's outlook: "With a good blend of experience and young talent this team looks to put its best foot forward every week. Returning every coach on the staff from last year gives us great continuity and we look to build off of the foundation we put in place."

North Harford

Coach: Justin Martinek, fifth season

Last year: 3-6

Top returners: Seniors Clay Lawrence (OL/DL), Kent Holcombe (RB/LB), Jason McCallister (OL/DL), Ethan Sealy (RB/LB), Dominick Sordillo (OL/DL) and Evan Dawson (WR/DB); junior Donald Mullins (RB/LB).

Newcomers to watch: Seniors Harold Davis (WR/DB) and Gieno Barber (RB/LB); juniors Demetrious Densmore (WR/DB) and Franky Lamb (RB/LB); sophomore Xavier Dunaway (OL/DL).

Coach's outlook: "We look to be a competitive football program and flip last year's record of 3-6 to 6-3."

Patterson Mill

Coach: Dave Huryk, second season

Last year: 8-3, regional semifinalist

Top returners: Seniors Samir Manning (WR/DB), Adam Shefcheck (LB), Aiden Myers (WR/DB) and Kamaire Silver (DB); junior RJ Wilhelm (RB/LB).

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Newcomers to watch: Juniors Luke Plesniak (DL), Sanel Becirovic (OL/DL) and Dylan Myers (DL).

Coach's outlook: "We will do our best to rebuild and compete against a tough UCBAC schedule. We are fully aware of the uphill battle that it will be playing such solid programs."


Coach: Sean Sandora, fourth season

Last year: 7-5, state quarterfinalist

Top returners: Seniors Ethen Gunter (RB/S), Ty Patchel (QB), Cy McCall (OL/DL), Jake Berg (OG/DT), Thomas Kilby (C/DT) and John Mettee (WR/OLB); junior Kylon Mitchel (FB/DT); sophomore Jayden Byard (WR/DB).

Newcomers to watch: Juniors Josiah Rose (WR/DB), Pierce Sponagule (FB/LB) and Tayshaun Johnson (RB/LB); sophomores Trevon Johnson (FB/LB) and Charles Kilby (OG/DT).

Coach's outlook: "If we continue to get better each day and continue to build accountability and work ethic, I believe we can make another playoff run."