Last season, four teams made the playoffs from District 2A-8, Colcord got the farthest, reaching the semifinals, and Commerce made it to the quarterfinals.
Commerce and Colcord finished with one loss in district play, and Adair and Salina finished with two losses.
The district will be difficult once again, according to Colcord coach Bud Simmons.
“All of the 2011 games will be though,” Simmons said. “We are in a very competitive district.”
Commerce is the reigning district champion, but they were picked by the coaches to finish third behind Adair and Colcord in the upcoming season.
They lost 14 seniors and were defeated in the quarterfinals to eventual state champion Hennessey.
Commerce will also have a new face at head coach, former offensive coordinator Steve Moss, who worked three years at that position.
New defensive scheme at Adair
Adair is implementing a new defensive scheme this season after losing several linemen to graduation.
“We're going to a 3-3 Stack, we ran a 4-4 last year,” coach Mark Lippe said. “We look to get more speed and athleticism on the field, and it allows us to put an extra linebacker and defensive back in the game.”
Lippe's team was in the playoffs last season, but a first-round exit left them wanting more.
“We want to take the next step and make a run in the playoffs,” Lippe said. “Our district is tough, but I think that will prepare us for a deep run in the playoffs.”
Comets have combination of youth and experience
The Kansas Comets finished 4-6 last season, going 4-3 in their division, but with five seniors returning they expect to be in the mix for a playoff spot.
Coach Eddie Barnwell's team has seven starters returning on defense and six on offense, including three offensive linemen. Barnwell also has four sophomores that received playing time last season, and one, Casey Armbrister, will start this season at linebacker.
“We're returning starters at many key positions who look to help in the development of the underclassmen,” Barnwell said. “Expectations are high for this season in the Comet nation.”
District 2A-8 coaches' poll 1. Colcord (11-3) 2. Adair (8-3) 3. Commerce (12-2) 4. Salina (8-4) 5. Kansas (4-6) 6. Wyandotte (0-10) 7. Ketchum (2-8) 8. Quapaw (2-8) 2010 record in parentheses