Once a league of smaller fringe-metro schools, now only two -- Holy Angels and Red Wing -- have fewer than 1,000 students. As the student bodies grow, so does the talent level. Shakopee LB Nick McBeain and Holy Angels DE Brett Pierce are proof.

CHANHASSEN STORM

Coach: Bill Rosburg.

2010 record: 2-7.

• The plus side of being a new school will be evident this fall. In its third year, Chanhassen can throw out a lineup stocked with three-year stalwarts. Linebacker Nathan Holasek and running back Maverick Edmunds are two such players, strong and fast and seeking the fruits sown in the previous two lean years.

CHASKA HAWKS

Coach: Lambert Brown.

2010 record: 4-6.

• The defense will be forced to carry much of the load as the offense has a new set of skill position players to break in. Having played in six games in 2010, quarterback Nick Jensen has the most experience handling the ball.

FARMINGTON TIGERS

Coach: Mark Froehling.

2010 record: 1-8.

• A ball-hawking defense with six starters back from 2010 will give Froehling and his Farmington coaching staff a chance to develop a raw offensive line. If he gets the time he needs, quarterback Darren Beenken has a nice pair of targets to throw to in receivers Austin Bassett and Nathan Graham.

HOLY ANGELS STARS

Coach: Ray Betton.

2010 record: 4-6.

• The smallest school in the Missota will field the biggest offensive line. Including tight end Brett Pierce, five of the six starters up front weigh 255 pounds or more, a nice luxury for new QB Sam Keis. Pierce is better known as a defensive end, where his size (6-5, 255) and speed have resulted in at least two Division I offers.

NEW PRAGUE TROJANS

Coach: Jim Benick.

2010 record: 6-4.

• Athleticism always has been a trademark of New Prague and this year is no exception. The Trojans have exceptional athletes in RB/DB Zach Shetka, FB/LB Jake Molitor and two-way lineman Jake Meyer. But a lack of depth is worrisome, as many of the Trojans' top players are expected to play both ways.

Northfield Raiders

Coach: Bubba Sullivan.

2010 record: 8-3.

• With a hardcore rebuilding project ahead -- 31 seniors graduated -- the Raiders benefit from a favorable schedule, playing four of the Missota's tougher teams at home. The offense will be on firmer footing than the defense, thanks to three returning linemen, including big, physical tackle Max Weaver.

RED WING WINGERS

Coach: Matt Schultz.

2010 record: 2-7.

• Things are looking up for a program that has won only seven times in the past six years. QB Joel Newman is a three-year starter who should thrive if he gets time to throw to bevy of quality receivers. That's a big if, though, because questions surround the offensive line.

SHAKOPEE SABERS

Coach: Jody Stone.

2010 record: 9-1.

• The Sabers imposed their will on opponents in 2010, winning their first nine games and averaging more than 40 points per game. That team graduated 17 seniors, so the production surely will drop off, but the talent pool is deep. Linebacker Nick McBeain is a tackling machine.

JIM PAULSEN

PREDICTION

1. Shakopee

2. Northfield

3. Holy Angels

4. Chanhassen

5. New Prague

6. Farmington

7. Chaska

8. Red Wing