1. Can anyone challenge Laverne in Class B or Tipton in Class C?
Yes. In Class B, Wetumka and Fox have the talent to challenge Laverne and potentially win it all. Wetumka returns seven starters on each sides of the ball, and the offense should be terrific again after averaging 55 points per game last season. Fox will need to have some inexperienced players step up, but with quarterback Taylor Townsend back, the Foxes should have one of the best offensive attacks in the class.
Cherokee appears to be the biggest threat to Tipton's title defense in Class C. The Chiefs return all the key components from last year's stellar option attack. Sharon-Mutual has the experience to contend after back-to-back trips to the state semifinals, where the Trojans gave Tipton its closest game all season in 2012. And don't sleep on Shattuck. After a one-year absence, longtime coach Troy Bullard returns as an assistant with his son Tyson taking over as head coach.
2. Who is the best player in eight-man?
Fox quarterback Taylor Townsend. He doesn't have great size at 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, but he's been very productive. Townsend scored 49 touchdowns while throwing for 2,377 yards and rushing for 1,283 to lead the Foxes to the Class B semifinals last season. If Townsend can put up those numbers as a senior, expect Fox to once again be a state championship contender.
3. Where's Forgan?
Several coaches in Class C had Forgan in their preseason top 10 after the Bulldogs finished as the runner-up to Tipton last season. But without enough players to field a team, Forgan's chances of making a fifth straight playoff appearance are over before the season even begins.