The final season of the eight-team league could prove to be a lot like last year, which ended with Chanhassen, Farmington and Holy Angels sharing the conference title with 5-2 marks. Those three, along with Chaska and Shakopee, are expected to be in the hunt for the final conference crown. The Sabers finished one game back of the frontrunners last season. “The three largest schools in the conference, along with the lone private school, have done a nice job putting together a simple offense utilizing their players’ strengths. It’s really a toss-up between those four schools each year,” Red Wing coach Matt Schultz said. The conference will disband for the 2014-15 school year.
2Tough finish for Tigers
A year ago, Farmington dropped two of its final three regular-season games and wound up in a three-way tie for first place. The Tigers finish with the same three teams — Chanhassen, Holy Angels and Shakopee — again this year. Those games will be critical in determining the final Missota Conference champion.
3In the trenches
It’s not a glamorous part of the game, but the play in the trenches usually decides the outcome of games. That’s what gives Chanhassen an upper hand this year. The Storm returns seven starters (five linemen, two tight ends) who weigh between 250 and 290 pounds. Senior running back Nathan Johnson was a 1,000-yard rusher behind that group last fall. Division I recruit Frank Ragnow (6-6, 290) and Grant Aplin (6-1, 290) head the behemoth group.
4Signal callers needed
A lack of experienced starting quarterbacks will make Friday nights interesting. Only three quarterbacks return, and their teams — Chaska, Red Wing and Shakopee — finished fourth or lower in the conference standings last season.
5Top players to watch
Key players to watch from each school: Chanhassen senior Frank Ragnow (OL/DL); Chaska senior Kolby Seiffert (RB); Farmington senior Mason Auge (LB); Holy Angels senior Adam Hoffman (WR/DB); New Prague senior Nate Preston (RB/DE); Northfield senior Preston Robinson (RB); Red Wing senior Isaac Toivonen (QB); Shakopee senior Ben McBeain (LB).