1. LEE'S SUMMIT WEST
A disappointing finish to the 2012 season apparently has motivated the Titans, who will look to complete an undefeated regular season for the second straight fall. There is no shortage of skill players at Lee's Summit West, led by senior wideout Monte Harrison, junior running back Ryan Williams and senior quarterback Thomas Ganaden. This is the same offensive nucleus that topped 30 points in 10 consecutive games last year.
2. PARK HILL SOUTH
The numbers of returning starters for the Panthers are not especially imposing, but the seven who return on defense and five coming back on offense possess a wealth of experience. Six of the seven returning on defense have started each of the last two seasons, including seniors Bryan Robinson, Robert Lane and Austin Miller. Back leading the offense is junior quarterback Shaefer Schuetz, who has been starting games since a freshman.
3. ST. JOSEPH CENTRAL
The Indians have a lot to replace, but senior quarterback Jacob Kaiser is talented enough to offset much of the inexperience. Seemingly, he can single-handedly keep St. Joseph Central competitive. Although only 5-foot-10, Kaiser makes up for his lack of size with his speed and a quick release of passes. As a dual-threat, he can provide headaches for the opposing team's defensive coordinators.
4. PARK HILL
First-year coach Josh Hood has been impressed with his team's speed, which just so happens to represent a perfect fit for his pistol offense. Preseason practices have featured a battle for quarterback, but the remainder of the offensive picture is more clear. The Trojans' offensive plan to get plenty of touches for two juniors -- wide receiver Ariyan Trawick and running back Kenyatte Harris.
The route ahead appears to be a long road for Truman, but first-year coach Gregg Webb says he is ready for the drive. He plans a run-heavy offense with sophomore Dean Clemons in line to play quarterback, but the key to the Patriots will be the ability of playing physical up front with Alex Fogliani leading the offensive line.
Saddled with a 16-game losing streak, the Eagles have a new coach for the fourth time in five years. Damon Fishback says he hopes to attain some consistency with a team that hasn't seen much of it in recent seasons. Senior nose guard Jordan Ragsdale, who has drawn Division I interest, headlines a group of six returning starters on defense.
| Sam McDowell, email@example.com