1. LEHMAN CATHOLIC. The Cavaliers lost some big-time players from last season’s 10-2 team, but quarterback Nick Rourke is back.
2. FORT LORAMIE. Replacing first-team All-Ohio running back Delaunte Thornton is a daunting task, but Loramie has made a habit of getting to the playoffs.
3. RIVERSIDE. The Pirates were one of only three NWCC teams at .500 or better last season.
4. PERRY. The Commodores think improved line play offensively and defensively could make them contenders.
5. RIDGEMONT. Quarterback Corey Eversole missed all of last season with a knee injury. He’s back, along with nine other starters, which might mean the Gophers can improve on last season’s two wins.
6. UPPER SCIOTO VALLEY. The Rams have around 30 players on the roster after struggling with numbers last season. Speed and the running game could be strengths.
7. WAYNESFIELD-GOSHEN. First-year coach Tyler Turner will begin a rebuilding program to try to get the Tigers back to the level they were when they made the playoffs four times from 2005-12.