The addition of two strong programs -- Holy Family and New London-Spicer -- means the metro's brawniest conference got even tougher. Those two schools also make the league the most spread out in the Twin Cities. It's 90 miles from Holy Family in Victoria to New London. To accommodate the newbies, the league has split into Large School and Small School divisions.

ANNANDALE CARDINALS

Coach: Matt Walter

2011 record: 7-6

• Enviable talent returns from the 2011 Class 3A state semifinalists, including quarterback John Kalthoff (2,170 yards passing, 19 TDS), wide receiver Brett Ahsenmacher (37 catches, 873 yards) and running back Nick Anderson.

DASSEL-COKATO CHARGERS

Coach: Ryan Weinandt

2011 record: 2-7

• The return of potent running back Aaron Haataja, who transferred to Warroad for a year, is a huge boost. His presence takes pressure off quarterback Dane Anderson and turns the Chargers offense into a formidable force.

DELANO TIGERS

Coach: Merrill Pavlovich

2011 record: 9-2

• The perennially talented Tigers have one major hole to fill, replacing graduated quarterback Cody Mathisen. Zach Checkal, a three-year starter at running back, should help ease the load on a green quarterback.

GLENCOE-SILVER LAKE PANTHERS

Coach: Scott Tschimperle

2011 record: 9-2

• The tradition-rich Panthers are always at their best when it means the most. With a strong core of players and budding superstar in quarterback Keaton Anderson, the team is a lock to play deep into the postseason.

HOLY FAMILY FIRE

Coach: Dave Hopkins

2011 record: 10-2

• Playing a full conference schedule for the first time will expose the Fire to the league's weekly bruising. It has just three starters back: running back Connor Byrnes, center Tom Green and tight end Derek Ogren.

HUTCHINSON TIGERS

Coach: Andy Rostburg

2011 record: 9-1

• End Shaun Schindler, the conference's best defender, anchors a fast and physical defense. Running backs Tory Adams and Robbie Grimsley have to step up in support of quarterback McKinley Anderson.

LITCHFIELD DRAGONS

Coach: Jon Johnson

2011 record: 4-5

• In many other leagues, the Dragons' tools -- an experienced quarterback in Zach Kinny, good size on the lines and a slew of skill players -- would make them a favorite. In the WCC, however, they are just one of many in the mix.

MOUND-WESTONKA WHITE HAWKS

Coach: Barry Bower

2011 record: 1-8

• New coach Bower inherits a group that took some lumps in 2011 and should be better this season, although it might not translate into victories. A lack of size will be tough to overcome.

NEW LONDON-SPICER WILDCATS

Coach: Dan Essler

2011 record: 6-3

• The newcomers bring an impressive résumé, sporting a 39-8 record over the past five seasons. That includes the 2009 Class 3A state title .

ORONO SPARTANS

Coach: Jeff Weiland

2011 record: 3-7

• A bevy of quality running backs, led by senior Tom Wachman, will find plenty of holes behind an all-senior offensive line. Nick Adzick and Ben Turnham waged a tight preseason competition for the starting job, with neither gaining the upper hand.

WACONIA WILDCATS

Coach: Pat Foley

2011 record: 5-5

• A small senior class in 2011 might pay off this year as many younger players gained experience. A low turnout will hurt depth. A few lucky bounces will be needed to be competitive.

JIM PAULSEN

Predicted order of finish

Large School division

• Hutchinson

• Delano

• Orono

• Waconia

• Holy Family

• Mound-Westonka

Small School division

• Glencoe-Silver Lake

• New London-Spicer

• Litchfield

• Annandale

• Dassel-Cokato