Predicted order of finish
(Consensus of coaches)
2013 record in parentheses
1. Harper Woods Chandler Park (7-3), 2. Warren Michigan Collegiate (6-4), 3. Detroit University Prep (8-3), 4. Detroit Old Redford (6-3), 5. Romulus Summit (2-7), 6. Detroit PEC (1-8), 7. Southfield Bradford (2-7)
Top four players
■Old Redford running back Rodrick Davis, the conference’s offensive MVP in 2013, is a load for opposing defenders to try to take down. His team may go only as far as he takes them.
■Chandler Park wide receiver Jalen Martin had a monster sophomore campaign, putting up 1,025 yards and 11 touchdowns on 44 receptions. His size (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) and strength make him an exceptionally tough cover.
■Chandler Park quarterback Delvin Washington (6-2, 220) started as a freshman and threw for 2,056 yards and 28 touchdowns on the way to the conference championship last season. As a sophomore, he should continue to grow and put up even bigger numbers. His poise in the pocket and arm strength are outstanding.
■Michigan Collegiate running back/linebacker Kenneth Butler plays big on both sides of the ball despite being just 5-9, 185. Last season, he carried the ball 90 times for 672 yards and 10 touchdowns. On defense he had 72 tackles, four sacks, an interception and 10 tackles-for-loss.
Top four story lines
■Michigan Collegiate is welcoming back head coach Alfredo Calderon, who slipped into a coma on the eve of the team’s first-round state playoff game last season as the result of a blood infection. The team will try to rally around their coach as he continues to work toward a full recovery.
■On the field, Michigan Collegiate returns 18 seniors, including 14 starters and its entire starting backfield. With a senior-heavy team, Collegiate will try to compete at the top of the conference and knock off Chandler Park.
■Can Chandler Park be even better? With the majority of its big-time weapons returning, it is showing no signs of being ready to surrender the conference. After being led to the state playoffs last year by a outstanding freshman quarterback, this team and its coaches are thinking big.
■New faces are gracing the sidelines for three schools this fall: Gregory Donald at PEC, Vincent Levigne at Summit and Ki’erre Gaut at Bradford. It will be interesting to see if they can mold programs in their own image and make them competitive.