Breakdown of Gaels’ schedule

Sophomore quarterback Billy Atkins (15) will be the point-person of another explosive Mount St. Joseph football offensive unit. The Gaels averaged 26 points last year.

by Derek Toney

With practice for the 2018 high school football season underway, Varsity Sports Network’s Derek Toney takes a look at the regular season itinerary for select area teams.

Mount St. Joseph Gaels

2017 record: 6-4

2017 review: The Gaels finished tied for second in the MIAA A Conference, but didn’t qualify for the four-team postseason tournament. The Baltimore City private school return 16 starters for 2018, led by senior wide receiver Maurice Nelson, juniors Marlowe Wax (running back) and Patrick FitzMaurice (offensive line) and sophomore quarterback Billy Atkins.

2018 opponents’ win/loss record (from 2017): 59-50 (.541)

Toughest 2018 opponent: Good Counsel. The Montgomery County school is expected to contend for the title in arguably the nation’s toughest private league, the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. The Falcons, ranked 22nd in USA Today’s Super 25, is led by Notre Dame recruit Cam Hart (wide receiver) and one of the nation’s best offensive lines with Mason Lunsford, Lucas Portes and sophomore Landon Tengwall, who has a verbal offer from Notre Dame.

Most intriguing 2018 opponent: Archbishop Spalding. The Cavaliers are primed for a rebound after failing to make the MIAA A playoffs last fall. The Severn school returns 15 starters including all-MIAA A performer Logic Hudgens, Navy commit Jayden Umbarger (quarterback) and junior two-way linemen Jahmeer Carter, who’s committed to Virginia.

By a number: 20.25. Average margin in Mount St. Joseph’s four losses in 2017.

2018 schedule

Aug. 25 vs. St. Mary’s Ryken (9-1)

Aug. 31 vs. Holy Spirit (8-3)

Sept. 7 at Good Counsel (8-3)

Sept. 15 vs. Silver Oak Academy (1-12)

Sept. 22 vs. Gilman School (5-7)

Sept. 29 vs. Calvert Hall College (7-5)

Oct. 6 at Loyola Blakefield (1-8)

Oct. 12 at McDonogh School (6-5)

Oct. 26 at High Point Christian (9-2)

Nov. 2 at Archbishop Spalding (5-4)