East Central is one of three teams in the district that won eight or more games last season, but the other two — Tulsa Central and Pryor — are picked to finish out of the playoff picture.
COWETA A CLOSE SECOND
Coweta wasn't far behind the Cardinals, with a couple of coaches even picking the Tigers to take the district.
Burcham's team has a solid group of returners at the skill positions but must build depth on the lines.
Quarterback Hayden Holmes has plenty of targets, including Randall Smith and Adam Price, who also have the versatility to play running back as well as receiver.
Coweta has a tough nondistrict schedule that includes Class 4A state champion Wagoner, 5A power Carl Albert and Tulsa Bishop Kelley.
CENTRAL GETS LATE BOOST
With players such as quarterback D'Angelo Brewer and receiver Gerald Hardridge, Tulsa Central figured to be a team with the potential to make noise.
But the Braves received a late addition that figures to make them even better, and the new player won't even have to learn the system from scratch.
Devanta Johnson expected to transfer from Central to East Central but late in the summer decided to go back to Tulsa Central after his eligibility at East Central came into question.
Johnson, who will play wide receiver and defensive back, is one of the top recruits in the state.