New season, same scenario. Washburn, which has won at least a share of the league title for 11 consecutive years, is the overwhelming favorite to make it 12. The only team with an outside shot to challenge is Southwest, which hasn't beaten the Millers in 26 years.

EDISON TOMMIES

Coach: Michael Minnema

2011 record: 2-7

• The Tommies won more games last year than they did in their previous three seasons combined (1-24). They return seven starters on offense and five on defense but lack in size. Only one of those returning starters weighs more than 170 pounds. They are also in search of a starting quarterback.

HENRY PATRIOTS

Coach: Mark Heiser

2011 record: 2-6

• The Patriots are expected to run more of a spread attack on offense to take advantage of their athleticism under first-year coach Heiser. Multiple looks on defense are expected to generate more pressure on opposing offenses. Newcomer quarterback/safety Markell Odom (6-3, 210) is expected to provide a spark.

NORTH POLARS

Coach: Charles Adams III

2011 record: 0-9

• The Polars will be counting on speed and athleticism to break their 14-game losing streak. Adams has some size up front in seniors Anthony Wallace (6-2, 240) and Jakari May (5-9, 270) and freshman Isiah Mathews (5-11, 250). He also will be counting on freshmen in some key positions.

ROOSEVELT TEDDIES

Coach: Junior Eugene

2011 record: NA

•  A year after playing a junior varsity schedule, the Teddies return to conference play. They won one game in 2010 and two in 2009 before taking a one-year hiatus.

SOUTH TIGERS

Coach: Lenny Sedlock

2011 record: 3-6

• Sedlock is hoping more team speed helps produce more points. The Tigers averaged only 12.7 points per game in 2011, scoring more than two touchdowns in only two games. They have only four starters back on offense and two on defense.

SOUTHWEST LAKERS

Coach: John Biezuns

2011 record: 5-4

• The team's seniors, the first group in school history to have winning seasons in each of their first three years, is poised to make it four. The Lakers have a lot of speed returning on offense and several key starters back on defense. Three-year starters Will Lussier (6-3, 290) and DeAudrey McKinley (5-9, 205) will anchor the offensive front.

WASHBURN MILLERS

Coach: Giovan Jenkins

2011 record: 7-3

• The Millers cruised to the conference crown a year ago and have eight starters back on offense and 10 on defense. Four of those are three-year starters, including outstanding junior running back/linebacker Jeff Jones. Jenkins' biggest concern is at quarterback, where senior Tony Ayala is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

RON HAGGSTROM