1. PERRY. Perry looks to make the jump into the upper echelon of the league on the strength of 18 returning starters. Junior quarterback Plummie Gardner will begin his third season leading the Commodores’ offense, and much improved line play on both sides of the ball give Perry optimism that they can make that break through. A league title should give the Commodores their first ever playoff appearance.
2. FORT LORAMIE. Fort Loramie finished second in the NWCC last year and went 7-4 overall to make the playoffs for the sixth year in a row. The Redskins will be under the tutelage of a new coach this season, so it remains to be seen how they adjust to the new system.
3. SIDNEY LEHMAN CATHOLIC. The Cavaliers have gone 5-0 in league play the last two years and have made the playoffs eight times in the last 10 years. However, they graduated their quarterback, their top four running backs and their top two receivers.
4. UPPER SCIOTO VALLEY. Upper Scioto Valley needs to replace seven defensive starters, but good team speed should help on the offensive side of the ball. The Rams went 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the league last season and have high hopes to improve those marks.
5. RIVERSIDE. A much improved Riverside squad went 6-4 last year and looks to continue that improvement into a new season.
6. WAYNESFIELD-GOSHEN. The Tigers only have 25 players on the roster this year.
7. RIDGEMONT. A young Gophers team has work to do to get into the mix for a league title.
8. HARDIN NORTHERN. Hardin Northern enters the league for its inaugural season, and the Polar Bears are an unknown factor at this time after dropping out of the Blanchard Valley Conference.