The John Carroll football team set some lofty goals in 2015 and the Patriots met an exceeded them all.

Behind a record setting offense, John Carroll posted a perfect 12-0 season, won the MIAA B Conference championship and finished ranked No. 3 in the final Varsity Sports Network Football Top 20.

Matching those accomplishments may be challenging, especially without graduated VSN Offensive Player of the Year Kurt Rawlings, who passed for more than 50 touchdowns last fall, but the Patriots still enter 2016 as the favorites in the B Conference and as a program on the rise in the Baltimore area.

“We have lots of talent, with a very big O-line,” said head coach Keith Rawlings, the VSN Coach of the Year in 2015. “We need leadership to take place and we can compete for a return to the championship.”

One of the top returning playmakers is senior wide receiver Niko Rice. Rice, who transferred from Fallston prior to his junior year, caught 41 passes last year for 619 yards and 11 touchdown. He averaged 15.1 yards per catch and 51.6 yards per game.

The offensive line will be anchored by junior center Cody Copenger (6-2, 260) and senior Vinny Harris (6-3, 255). On the defensive side, junior Brett Raynor (5-11, 210) will lead the linebacking corp, while seniors Avery Jones (6-1, 187) and Darius Baugh (5-9, 170) are the key returners in the secondary.

2016 JOHN CARROLL PATRIOTS

Head Coach: Keith Rawlings

Seasons/Record: 2/17-4 (Overall 4/31-10)

Top Players:
Niko Rice, Sr., WR, 6-0, 185 (All-MIAA)
Cody Copenger, Jr., C, 6-2, 260
Vinny Harris, Sr., OL/DL, 6-3, 255
Brett Raynor, Jr., LB, 5-11, 210
Avery Jones, Sr., WR/SS, 6-1, 187
Daruis Baugh, Sr., CB, 5-9, 170