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1 East Ridge Rising
Why is East Ridge, located in Woodbury, favored to win the conference? Picture this scenario: Center J.C. Hassenauer, an Alabama commit, snaps the ball to quarterback Seth Green, a talented sophomore who already has a scholarship offer from the Gophers. Green drops back and scans the field. Perhaps tight end George Behr, a Rutgers commit, is open. If not, there is always Xavier Cole, the team’s leader in receiving yards last season. Or perhaps Nick Leach, who led the conference in rushing yards, is out in space and ready to turn a short pass into a long gain. Any questions?
2 SEEKING RESPECT
None of the Suburban East Conference teams advanced to the Class 6A state tournament last season. When the sections crossed over, Mounds View, Roseville, Stillwater and Woodbury lost to teams from the South Suburban Conference.
3 SAVE THE DATES
The schedule is relatively kind to East Ridge’s conference title hopes. The Raptors do not play Mounds View. The meat of their schedule starts with emotion-laden intradistrict games Sept. 13 at Woodbury and Sept. 20 against Park of Cottage Grove, followed by a Sept. 20 tilt with Cretin-Derham Hall. … The Raiders, regarded as one of the top four teams in the conference, play the other three favorites on consecutive weeks. They play Stillwater on Sept. 13 at home, then go on the road against Mounds View and East Ridge.
4 top PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cretin-Derham Hall junior defensive end Jashon Cornell is ranked as the nation’s top recruit in the Class of 2015. According to Raiders coach Mike Scanlan, Cornell is drawing as much attention as former standouts Michael Floyd and Seantrel Henderson. Roseville senior quarterback Jacques Perra has led the conference in total yards the past two seasons. Hastings senior Zach Wiese led the conference in receptions last fall.
DAVID LA VAQUE