AFTER JIM FENERTY'S ninth outright Inter-Ac championship (13th overall) last season, Germantown Academy fields a young team that doesn't want to hear about rebuilding.
With the Patriots' top four scorers lost to graduation, junior small forward Sam Lindgren steps into a headliner's position.
However, with just one senior on the roster, Lindgren and talented sophomore point guard Devon Goodman (coming off a broken thumb) must lead the youthful bunch against a hungry contender.
Haverford School returns with ultra-skilled junior point guard Levan "Shawn" Alston, the league's reigning scoring champ (17.3) and co-MVP, but size might be the Fords' greatest asset. Senior Eric Anderson, a Yale commit, and sophomore Lamar Stevens are both versatile, 6-7 forwards. The Fords haven't won a title since third-year head coach Henry Fairfax was a senior, back in 1999.
Penn Charter senior Sean O'Brien and Episcopal senior Chris McNeal are the only returning first-team, all-leaguers other than Alston.
Springside Chestnut Hill, which last won a title in 2010, returns with its top returning scorer in senior guard Frank Jackson.
After back-to-back titles in 2011-2012, Malvern Prep is under new stewardship. First-year head coach John Harmatuk, who coached 12 seasons at Cypress Springs High in Texas, will lead the Friars with help from junior guard Joey Fitzpatrick.
The Inter-Ac annual tipoff tripleheader will be held Saturday at Philadelphia University with games scheduled at 4, 5:30 and 7 p.m.
Coach: Craig Conlin, 4th year. Education: La Salle, La Salle. Career: 36-38.
Last year: 16-9, 5-5.
Savvy seven: Chris McNeal, 6-1, G; Connor Martin, 6-0, F; Michael Jolaoso, 5-9, G; Kyleel Cosby, 6-4, F; Michael Hinckley, 5-11, G; Cameron Pott, 6-1, F; Nick Alikakos, 6-4, F.
Conlin's comment: "We must be able to get stops on defense, rebound the ball and shoot well on offense in order to have a successful season. We are excited about our journey together!"
Coach: Jim Fenerty, 25th year, missed final six games of 2012 on medical leave, (also Egan, 1982-89). Education: Dougherty, La Salle. Career: 524-328; 463-190 at GA.
Last year: 23-6, 10-0.
Savvy seven: Sam Lindgren, 6-6, F; Tim Guers, 6-2, G; Bailey Whitman, 5-10, G; Kyle McCloskey, 6-3, F; Evan-Eric Longino, 6-4, F; Devon Goodman, 5-10, G; Eathyn Edwards, 6-3, F.
Fenerty's comment: "We are a young and enthusiastic group that is looking to get better each day."
Coach: Henry "Doug" Fairfax, 3rd year; Education: Haverford School, Drexel. Career: 40-23.
Last year: 17-9, 6-4.
Savvy seven: Levan "Shawn" Alston, 6-4, G; Eric Anderson, 6-7, F; Lamar Stevens, 6-7, F; Derek Mountain, 6-5, F; Lukas Rosenbohm, 6-7, F; Cameron Reddish, 6-3, G; Brendan Burke, 6-2, G.
Fairfax's comment: "Super excited to get started and have an opportunity to compete."
Coach: John Harmatuk, 1st year. Education: Klein High (Texas), Austin College. Career: 264-120 (Cypress Springs).
Last year: 9-20, 1-9.
Savvy seven: Joey Fitzpatrick, 6-3, G; Chris Anderson, 6-0, G; Brent Greeley, 6-3, F; Will Powers, 5-11, G; Andy Pancoast, 6-4, F; Jack Doherty, 6-2, G; Murphy Rogers, 5-9, G.
Harmatuk's comment: "I think we're learning the new system and the guys are picking it up pretty quickly, and I like how we're progressing so far."
Coach: Lynard Stewart, 3rd year; Education: Gratz, Temple. Career: 31-26.
Last year: 16-9, 6-4.
Savvy seven: Sean O'Brien, 6-2, G; Demetrius Isaac, 5-11, G; Alex Schwarz, 6-2, G; Julian Johnson, 6-1, G; Malcolm Elashari-Rashed, 6-2, F; Anthony Campanile, 6-4, F; Patrick McCain, 6-3, G.
Stewart's comment: "Our theme this year is accountability. We have eight seniors on the team so everyone is holding each other accountable from top to bottom."
Coach: Jamie Chadwin, 2nd year. Education: University of Delaware, Germantown Academy. Career: 14-21.
Last year: 10-15, 2-8.
Savvy seven: Frank Jackson, 5-9, G; Jordan Watson, 6-1, F; Najere Johnson, 6-1, F; Jack Grasso, 6-4, F; Dylan Parsons, 6-0, G; Owen McAdoo, 6-4, F; Aska Cheung, 6-1, F.
Chadwin's comment: "We're going to be a pretty competitive group, we have confidence that we can certainly compete in the league."
RETURNING ALL-INTER-AC (Selected by Coaches)
Levan "Shawn" Alston, HS, G;
Sean O'Brien, PC, G;
Chris McNeal, EA, G.
Eric Anderson, HS, F.