Predicted order of finish in the Western Buckeye League:
1. KENTON: Sophomore Maty Mauk (2,727 yards, 30 TDs), the first-team All-WBL quarterback, leads nine returning offensive starters. Mark Fackler, a first-team All-WBL linebacker, leads five returning defensive starters.
2. SHAWNEE: The Indians are loaded on defense with players like Zac Rosenbauer, Isaiah Irons and Nick Truesdale, but they will have to replace 1,300-yard rusher Brandon Stephenson, the WBL Offensive Back of the Year, the offensive line and second-team All-WBL quarterback Josh Miller on offense.
3. DEFIANCE: Alex Nofziger, who was first-team All-WBL in 2008 at wide receiver and defensive back, leads a talented team. Defensive lineman Jake Suman was first-team all-league.
4. OTTAWA-GLANDORF: The Titans will find out fast if they’re contenders when they open the WBL part of their schedule with Shawnee, Defiance and Kenton.
5. ST. MARYS: There’s a new coach, Mark Hollars, but the same game plan for the Roughriders — run the ball, run the ball and run the ball some more.
6. WAPAKONETA: The Redskins hope there is momentum in football after winning four of their last five games last season.
7. VAN WERT: The Cougars played young last season when they put 10 sophomores and a freshman on the field. One of those sophomores, Connor Massillo, ran for 622 yards and made second-team All-WBL, but is battling a high ankle sprain.
8. BATH: The Wildcats have 11 returning starters and a new coach, Chris Miller, who says establishing the running game will be one of the first things they have to do.
9. CELINA: The Bulldogs hope a strong junior class will help break a streak of eight straight seasons of .500 or worse records.
10. ELIDA: The Bulldogs will rely on 15 returning starters and some young talent to try to end a 20-game losing streak.