Co-coaches: Jon Hanks and Pat Krieger
2011 record: 5-5
• The Red Knights' offense counts only two veterans, making the unit a work in progress. The defense, buoyed by eight seniors, must keep the team competitive early on.
Coach: Bill Weiss
2011 record: 5-5
• Several strong athletes dot the Wildcats' roster, though a lack of depth will force some to play offense and defense. Weiss spotlighted a "talented and experienced LB core led by Dan Sargeant."
Coach: Adam Fischer
2011 record: 2-8
• Excited by what he believes will be an "opportunistic, fast and athletic team," Fischer predicts a 5-3 regular-season record. Six of the team's returning starters are juniors, including quarterback Nick Rathke.
Coach: Ben Geisler
2011 record: 5-4
• Several potent skill-position players, led by quarterback Justus Canfield, and a stout group of defensive linemen and linebackers could put the Knights in conference title contention.
Coach: Nick Nitti
2011 record: 1-8
• The few, the proud, the Vikings. Depth is a concern, because only 50 players in grades 10 through 12 are out for football. But Nitti said his guys will "compete night in and night out."
Coach: Willie Howard
2011 record: 4-5
• Such explosive athletes as running back Billy Kellogg, returner Leroy Taylor, wide receiver/safety Malik Rucker and linebacker Dashawn Williams will cause matchup problems for opponents all season and should push the Hawks into the limelight.
Coach: Jeff Schlieff
2011 record: 9-2
• Solid up front on both fronts, the Panthers must replace several skill-position players. Four defensive linemen and one linebacker, who all earned all-conference citation, anchor the defense.
Coach: Chris Lindquist
2011 record: 8-2
• Co-conference champs (with Spring Lake Park) must replace key contributors lost to graduation. Five starters return. Lindquist said healthy competition for playing time is making everyone better.
Coach: Vince Varpness
2011 record: 3-6
• A foundation for improved performance can be found among the four veterans on the offensive line and the linebacker corps. Varpness called the group "aggressive against both the run and the pass."
DAVID LA VAQUE
Tag(s): Star Tribune All-Metro MSHSL Varsity North Suburban Benilde-St. Margaret's Chisago Lakes Columbia Heights Fridley Irondale North Branch Robbinsdale Cooper Spring Lake Park St. Francis St. Louis Park