1. De La Salle (Concord)
Ho-hum, another banner year seems certain, but Cameron Colvin's ineligibility for five weeks from academics and Jackie Bates' sore foot could signal a slow start.
2. Foothill (Pleasanton)
You have to like Matt Sweeney's club in the EBAL with all he has back and all that's gone at Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley.
3. Valley Christian (San Jose)
The defending CCS Div. I champs have a nice nucleus back led by All-American DL Jeff Schweiger and honors candidates Matt Castelo and Kevin Jurovich.
4. Palma (Salinas)
Chieftains play DLS in a week two showdown and should be the dominant team in Monterey County.
5. St. Francis (Mountain View)
Lancers are picked to win the WCAL by many ahead of Valley Christian, Serra and Bellarmine and they'll be led by RB-LB Will Taufoou.
6. Skyline (Oakland)
WR Kenny O'Neill is the fastest player in the state, based on track times. And you just know that John Beam is going to make sure Kenny gets utilized very effectively.
Farmers could reap the benefits of San Leandro undergoing a coaching change and losing so many players off last year's team. Phillip Mbakagu joins VC's Schweiger as one of the top DLs in the nation.
8. Los Gatos
Coach Butch Cattolico's team hasn't lost in last 39 outings.
9. Monte Vista (Danville)
RB Tommy Haug is one key player back from last year's 13-0 juggernaut.
10. Serra (San Mateo)
First game between Padres and Skyline is going to be one of those that will launch the winner toward a high ranking.
We liked a lot of the Pirate players at the Stanford Nike Camp, particularly RB Brian Robinson.
12. Bellarmine (San Jose)
Darren Bragg is one of the top 10 QBs in the state and the Bells have an equally outstanding player on defense in LB Langston Johnson.
13. Miramonte (Orinda)
QB Taylor Humphrey headlines a solid group of returning players off team that was upset in last year's NCS Class 2A East Bay playoffs.
14. San Leandro
Sekeli Faaeteete is one holdover from last year who is definitely an impact player and since the Pirates basically were 38-0 in the last four years against all they played other than DLS, it's hard to drop them too far to start the season.
15. Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park)
There isn't one playoff team in the Redwood Empire from last season that returns a significant group of players. We'll stick with the Cougars for now since they were so dominant last year. We were thinking about going with Montgomery of Santa Rosa, but the transfer of star RB Kahlil Bell to Marin Catholic ended that.
16. James Logan (Union City)
Colts will take a dip with the Ting twins now at USC, but they should still be considered the team to beat in the MVAL until someone comes up and bites them.
Wildcats feature perhaps the No. 1 back in the region in quick, strong Shawn Benjamin. This could be the year someone other than San Lorenzo Valley wins the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League.
WR Aaron Straiten and RB Brent Casteel (a 1,000-yard rusher) give the Panthers an impressive foundation for the offense.
19. Leland (San Jose)
Mike Day rushed for 1,300 yards last year and is one of 15 returning starters.
Panthers may be PAL's best with jr. QB Drew Shiller and jr. RB Ryan Gilbert, but we'll find out about them in a hurry as first game vs. Palo Alto will be difficult.