Players to Watch
OL Dexter Charles, Stanwood, Sr.
Charles is a mauler that committed to play for the Washington Huskies early in the process. Charles will be a huge factor in Stanwood's ability to run the ball and control the game.
WR Brandon Preslar, Lake Stevens, Sr.
Preslar is the only returning all-league first team player on offense. It will be key for the Vikings to get the ball into Preslar's hands as much as possible.
ILB Blake Petersen, Arlington, Sr.
The north is not nearly as deep as it was last year, but one returning playmaker is Peterson. He is one of only two returning all-league defensive players.
DB Tory James, Monroe, Jr.
James was a reliable force for Monroe last season. With the development between his sophomore and junior year he could really be someone to watch.
RB KeiVarae Russell, Mariner, Jr.
Russell was all-league as a sophomore runner. Mariner has been soplid the last few years but just hasn't put it all together. They will look to Russell to get them over the .500 mark this year.
WR Kyle Olson, Jackson, Sr.
One of the few playmakers from last year's Jackson team that is returning. Will be looked at to help make up for the loss of QB Andy Gay and all everything player Riley Carr who is at Air Force.
DB Larry Bruce, Cascade, So.
You read that right, Bruce is just a sophomore. He earned all-league second team honors as just a freshman. Bruce is definitely a player to watch over the next few years as he matures.
ILB Tyler Self, Kamiak, Jr.
Self is a leader on a defense that has produced some great playmakers over the last few years. He was named to the second team as a sophomore.
QB Anthony Berg, Kamiak, Jr.
I first saw Anthony at the Skyline passing tournament this summer. He has great size and a great release. If he can translate the accuracy and anticipation he had in the 7-on-7 to the field then Kamiak could have a great year. One of my favorite 2012 quarterbacks in the state.
9/3, Kamiak at Stanwood
9/3, Marysville-Pilchuck at Jackson
9/10, Lake Stevens at Kamiak
9/24, Kamiak at Jackson
10/1, Issaquah at Kamiak (Non-League)
10/1, Stanwood at Marysville-Pilchuck
10/15, Skyline at Jackson (Non-League)
10/15, Lake Stevens at Marysville-Pilchuck
10/22, Stanwood at Lake Stevens
WesCo South Champ: Kamiak
WesCo North Champ: Stanwood
WesCo Champ: Kamiak
As a whole, I think that this will be a down year for the WesCo. They were a league with a lot of senior talent and teams will be trying to fill in the holes this year. The good news is that means there should be competitive games every week in conference.
In the North I have to go with Stanwood. In my opinion it came down to a choice between Stanwood and Lake Stevens. Marysville-Pillchuck has been a team to reckon with over the past two years, but I think that they lost too much. Graduation robbed them of some of their best talent, namely Austin Denton, but the real trouble came with five players transferring to Juanita. Three of which were all-league performers on defense (Jarrett Finau, Siti Tamaivena and Suli Tamaivena).
Like M-P, Jackson was a force to be dealt with last season, but graduated much of their talent. That leaves the league more wide open then it has been in years. Jackson will be near the top again, the coaching staff there will find players to fill in the holes. I think that Kamiak is the other team that will factor into the playoff hunt. Kamiak will break in a new QB, Anthony Berg, who I mentioned above. He will be tested as the season progresses, but I love his arm.
As always, there are many more that could have made the list. Visit our forums to let me know who else you think should have made the list.