How strong is District B-1? It has three teams which won 12 or more games last season, and none of them are the choice to win the district.
Laverne is atop the poll, meanwhile, Garber (14-0 in 2009), Seiling (13-2) and Canton (12-2) make up three other powers in the 10-team conference.
Canton and Seiling each lost just two games, both to the eventual state champion. Garber topped Canton twice in Class B, while Timberlake did the same to Seiling in Class C.
New start at Ringwood
First-year coach Rustin Donaldson has a rebuilding job ahead of him with Ringwood coming off a 1-9 season. However, he's gotten a good head start in one of the most important factors in rebuilding — a full roster.
"Thirty-seven signed up to play," Donaldson said. "We have good numbers."
Donaldson said his new squad will have to learn a new system, but the likes of seniors Austin Farrand (OL/DE) and Victor Trejo (RB/LB) will help the transition.
Schanbacher may shine
Cherokee is expecting to improve from its 5-5 2009 mark with a combined 13 returning starters, What's more, senior quarterback Justin Schanbacher is considered to be one of the top athletes in Class B.
Also a linebacker, Schanbacher has good size for 8-man ball (6-2, 195 pounds) and has started four years. Running backs Chase Wallace and Brayden Nixon are also four-year starters.
Defense is Wildcats' strong point
Only three starters return on offense and four on defense for Seiling, and the Wildcats have bumped up from Class C. That will make repeating last year's success (13 wins) difficult. However, Seiling has the defense to give it a chance.
Eddy Pittman, a senior linebacker, and Michael Draper, a senior defensive end, are terrors for opposing ball carriers. Pittman racked up 126 tackles and had three interceptions in 2009, while Draper had 73 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Add to the mix senior defensive end Garrett Gore (47 tackles), and the foundation is definitely there.
District B-1 coaches' poll 1. Laverne (8-5) 2. Seiling (13-2) 3. Garber (14-0) 4. Pond Creek-Hunter (6-5) 5. Cherokee (5-5) 6. Geary (5-5) 7. Canton (12-2) 8. Ringwood (1-9) 9. Kremlin-Hillsdale (5-5) 10. Merritt (0-10) 2009 record in parentheses