1Revolving door in top spot
Six schools have either won or shared the conference crown over the past five seasons. Mayer Lutheran and Sibley East tied for the league title a year ago. If the preseason predictions hold true, the league will have seven champions in a six-year period. Tri-City United, in its second season as a cooperative program between Le Center and Montgomery-Lonsdale, is the conference favorite in 2013.
2Racking up the victories
Two schools in the hunt for the Minnesota River title — Mayer Lutheran and Tri-City United — also boast the two winningest coaches in the conference. Dean Aurich of Mayer Lutheran has accumulated 171 career victories while Ken Helland of Tri-City United has compiled 154. Each has more wins than the other six conference coaches combined.
3Next up for improbable run?
Jordan proved anything is possible a year ago. After recording only one victory (13-12 over Belle Plaine) during the regular season, the Hubmen won all three section tournament games and advanced to the state tournament quarterfinals. Can the feat be duplicated in 2013? Anything is possible from a conference with teams in three classes (3A, 2A and 1A).
4Taking a look back
The Minnesota River Conference enters its 55th year of existence this season. With plenty of conferences looking at changes next year, the MRC has remained amazingly stable. Here are the original members of the conference, located southwest of the Twin Cities: Arlington-Green Isle, Belle Plaine, Jordan, Le Center, LeSueur, Montgomery and New Prague.
5Top players to watch
Belle Plaine senior Gavin Dauwalter (TE/DE); Jordan senior Zach Busch (WR/DB); LeSueur-Henderson junior Riley McGraw (WR); Mayer Lutheran senior Mason Diedrick (OT/DE); Norwood Young America junior Noah Peterson (RB); Sibley East senior Cordell Bates (OG/DT); Tri-City United senior Pat Lloyd (RB/LB); Watertown-Mayer senior Luke Sandquist (TE/DE).