St. Thomas Academy became the first school other than Mahtomedi to win the conference title outright last year since it formed in 2001. The Cadets are now the favorites to garner back-to-back league championships, also only accomplished by Mahtomedi. The Zephyrs and Tartan are the logical choices to possibly prevent the feat from happening in 2007.
(In predicted order of finish)
St. Thomas Academy Cadets
Coach: Dave Ziebarth, fifth year
The lowdown: The Cadets will seek a return a trip to the Prep Bowl by utilizing their speed. Senior Fritz Waldvogel (5-8, 160) is small but makes a big impact. He led the team in rushing and receiving during last year's state runner-up finish. St. Thomas Academy will be young up front on both sides of the ball as well as in the secondary.
Coach: Darin Glazier, second year
The lowdown: Senior QB Sam Ryan and RB Jordan Johnson make up one of the best backfield tandems in the metro area. Junior Marc Sonnen gives Ryan an excellent target at WR. The play up front and the defensive unit will determine Tartan's fate.
Coach: Dave Muetzel, first year
The lowdown: The Zephyrs defense, headed by Division I recruit senior LB Matt Groff (6-2, 215), will be quick to the ball. Muetzel welcomes back five starters on both sides of the ball.
Coach: Ray Betton, third year
The lowdown: Simley had its first nonlosing season (4-4) in conference play in 2006. It will look to have its first winning season this year. The Spartans will be much better defensively with seven starters coming back. Senior RB/SS Michael Hunter (6-0, 178) will play a huge role for Betton's squad.