WILL IT be Germantown Academy or the field?

The answer is anyone's guess, but one thing is for sure, the two-time defending Inter-Ac champions won't sneak up on anyone this season.

After turning over its roster last year, Jim Fenerty's bunch surprised some by claiming the 10th outright championship during his tenure (14th for Fenerty overall, counting shared titles). However, this season, the Patriots return their starting five and most of their reserves.

Reigning league MVP Tim Guers (senior) and fellow first-team All-Inter-Ac guard Devon Goodman (sophomore) return for GA along with second-team forward Sam Lindgren (Colgate).

Standing in opposition is Haverford School and its talent-rich roster. Senior guard and first-teamer Levan "Shawn" Alston (Temple) and junior forward Lamar Stevens (second-team) headline the Fords.

Episcopal, which finished in third-place last year, returns first-team point guard Mike Jolaoso, while Penn Charter looks to replace Sean O'Brien, the first-team wing now at Colgate.

And while no new faces patrol the sidelines this season, the two least-tenured coaches - Jamie Chadwin and John Harmatuk - look to improve with Springside Chestnut Hill and Malvern, respectively.

The Inter-Ac annual tipoff tripleheader will be held Saturday, Jan. 3 at Philadelphia University with games at 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m.

Episcopal Academy

Coach: Craig Conlin, 5th year.

Education: La Salle High, La Salle U. Career: 53-47.

Last year: 16-8, 6-4.

Savvy seven: Michael Jolaoso, 5-11, G; Michael Hinckley, 6-2, G; Nick Alikakos, 6-7, F; Matt Woods, 6-1, G; Cameron Pott, 6-3, F; 1. Conner Delaney, 6-0, G; Kyle Sacchetta, 6-0, G.

Conlin's comment: "Our goal is to play up to our standards of performance. We are in constant pursuit of excellence!"

Germantown Academy

Coach: Jim Fenerty, 26th year, missed final six games of 2012 on medical leave, (also Egan, 1982-89). Education: Dougherty, La Salle. Career: 482-198 at GA.

Last year: 19-8, 9-1.

Savvy seven: Tim Guers, 6-2, G; Sam Lindgren, 6-6, F; Devon Goodman, 5-10, G; Bailey Whitman, 5-10, G; Kyle McCloskey, 6-3, F; Evan-Eric Longino, 6-4, F; Eathyn Edwards, 6-3, F.

Fenerty's comment: "Last year, no one expected us to do much and we surprised them. This year, everyone expects us to do something and I hope we live up to that."

Haverford School

Coach: Henry "Doug" Fairfax, 4th year; Education: Haverford School, Drexel. Career: 48-29.

Last year: 16-8, 7-3.

Savvy seven: Levan "Shawn" Alston, 6-4, G; Lamar Stevens, 6-7, F; Cameron Reddish, 6-3, G; Derek Mountain (injured indefinitely), 6-6, Micah Sims, 5-10, G; Jack Marshall, 6-6, F; Kharon Randolph, 5-10, G.

Fairfax's comment: "Next rep."

Malvern Prep

Coach: John Harmatuk, 2nd year. Education: Klein High (Texas), Austin College. Career: 11-16 at Malvern (264-120 at Cypress Springs).

Last year: 11-16, 3-7.

Savvy seven: Chris Anderson, 6-0, G; Joey Fitzpatrick, 6-3, G; Will Powers, 5-11, G; Jack Doherty, 6-2, G; Ray Baran, 6-1, G; Tommy Wolfe, 5-11, G; Mike Hollingsworth, 6-6, F.

Harmatuk's comment: "Our schedule is the toughest in Philadelphia. This should prepare us for the league. Our expectations are high. We think we will surprise people."

Penn Charter

Coach: Lynard Stewart, 4th year; Education: Gratz, Temple. Career: 39-33.

Last year: 12-11, 4-6.

Savvy seven: Julian Johnson, 6-1, G; Patrick McCain, 6-3, G; Harrison Williams, 6-1, G; Sean Foley, 6-5, F; Michael Hnatkowsky, 6-1, G; Michael Berk, 6-2, G; Eric Stahlheber, 6-2, F.

Stewart's comment: "We are learning as we grow, taking some early losses along the way, but we are getting better with each game. By the time the league starts we should be in a good place."

SCH Academy

Coach: Jamie Chadwin, 3rd year. Education: University of Delaware, Germantown Academy. Career: 17-33.

Last year: 7-18, 1-9.

Savvy seven: Paul Dooley, 6-0, G; Justin Anderson, 6-0, G; Sean Simon, 6-0, G; Dylan Parsons, 6-1, G; Xavier Bell, 5-10, G; Bruce Howard, 6-2, F; Conor McAdoo, 6-2, F.

Chadwin's comment: "We are a young group looking and learning to get better with each opportunity to compete."

Returning all-Inter-Ac players (Selected by Coaches)

FIRST TEAM

Tim Guers, GA, G; Devon Goodman, GA, G; Levan "Shawn" Alston, HS, G; Mike Jolaoso, EA, G.

SECOND TEAM

Lamar Stevens, HS, F; Sam Lindgren, GA, F; Nick Alikakos, EA, F.