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RED DIVISION

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 record in parentheses

1. Macomb Dakota (8-3, 4-1), 2. Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (8-4, 2-3), 3. Sterling Heights Stevenson (7-3, 3-2), 4. Utica Eisenhower (5-5, 3-2), 5. Warren Mott (5-5, 2-3), 6. Macomb L'Anse Creuse North (4-5, 1-4).

Top four players

1. Chippewa Valley quarterback Patrick Briningstool (6-feet, 195) took over the starting job in Week 4, then led his team to a district championship with an upset win over Dakota. He threw for 1,851 yards and 27 TDs with just six interceptions.

2. Dakota junior running back Kaiser Carleton (5-7, 160) has the ability to break the big run with his 4.45 speed, rushing for 1,250 yards last season to help Dakota earn its third straight outright MAC championship. He already has an offer from Ohio University.

3. Chippewa Valley receiver Stefan Claiborne (6-2, 180) showed his playmaking ability last year by scoring 10 TDs off 25 receptions, averaging 20 yards a catch while also being his team's leading tackler (88) from the secondary. He has offers from Western Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Cincinnati.

4. Mott defensive back Tylen Redding (6-2, 160), a Bowling Green commit, led Mott to a state playoff appearance last season, intercepting seven passes while breaking up six more pass attempts. He also had 23 receptions for 450 yards and six TDs.

Top four story lines

1. Chippewa Valley ended a 10-year, 16-game losing streak in its series with Dakota last season with a thrilling 28-27 victory in the Division 1 district-title game. Now, can Chippewa Valley win the MAC Red title? With 40 seniors, 11 starters and a lot of other experienced players back, it seems a legitimate possibility.

2. Dakota's not going to give up its MAC Red championship without a fight. Veteran coach Mike Giannone said this year's team has more depth than any other in his 18 years leading the program. He has 10 starters back, along with a transfer in talented running back Sonny Cooper (Avon, Ohio), who could join Kaiser Carleton to give Dakota a pair of 1,000-yard backs.

3. Don't look for Stefan Claiborne to get off the field during his senior season at Chippewa Valley. After all, it didn't happen his junior year when he had 25 receptions and 10 TDs as a receiver, made 88 tackles from the secondary, returned punts and kicks and blocked six kicks, including a PAT and field goal, and blocked a punt and scored in the district-title game upset of Dakota.

4. Stevenson made a major jump from 4-5 in 2013 to 7-3 and a state playoff appearance last year in Kevin Frederick's first year as head coach. Look for the Titans to make another playoff showing with defensive back Jared Cutlip (100 tackles, seven pass breakups) and junior lineman Dez Lance among eight starters back on defense, and quarterback Frank D'Ascenzo (1,300 yards rushing, 658 passing) leading the offense.

WHITE DIVISION

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 record in parentheses

1. Romeo (6-4, 4-1), 2. Port Huron (7-3, 4-1), 3. Grosse Pointe South (4-5, 3-2), 4. Utica (2-7, 1-4), 5. Utica Ford (4-5, 2-3), 6. New Baltimore Anchor Bay (2-7, 1-4).

Top four players

1. Utica running back Kumehnnu Gwilly (6-2, 195) will attempt to rush for 2,000 yards after a strong junior year when he ran for 1,944 yards and 15 TDs in just his second full season of organized ball. He is a Central Michigan commit.

2. Romeo quarterback Paul Hurley has a tremendous amount of experience as a third-year starter, leading the Bulldogs to playoff appearances the last two seasons. He threw for 1,825 yards and 16 TDs last year, completing 65 percent of his passes.

3. Romeo receiver Brad Tanner is Hurley's premier threat, grabbing 43 passes for 587 yards and seven TDs. Tanner also averaged 28 yards on punt returns.

4. Grosse Pointe South left tackle Jack Steinhauer (6-3, 270) is the anchor of the offensive line as a three-year starter. "Jack's unbelievably athletic and a good protector on the backside," coach Tim Brandon said.

Top four story lines

1. After moving from the Red last season, Romeo won a share of the league title, including a victory over co-champion Port Huron. Romeo has an impressive 11 straight Division 1 playoff appearances and should earn another with receivers Brad Tanner and 6-4, 225-pound Mitch Heimbuch (tight end) returning for quarterback Paul Hurley.

2. Utica coach Tony Smith knows he has to have improved special teams play if his program is to move up the division ladder for a chance at the playoffs. He has a strong offensive line returning, led by tackle John Goettsch, to open up holes for standout running back Kumehnnu Gwilly.

3. Ryan Mullins begins his 19th year as Port Huron head coach with a major rebuilding job after losing all 11 starters on the defensive side of the ball from a team which earned a state playoff appearance and share of the division title.

4. Utica Ford coach Todd Winters thinks the Falcons can contend for an upper-division finish and shot at the state playoffs after improving from 1-8 in 2013 to 4-5 last season with 13 starters coming back from that team, including running back Dominic Fiscelli and defensive end Sean Russell.

BLUE DIVISION

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 record in parentheses

1. Warren Cousino (5-5, 5-0), 2. Grosse Pointe North (6-4, 4-1), (tie) Roseville (3-6, 2-3), 4. Fraser (6-4, 3-2), 5. Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse (1-8, 1-4), 6. St. Clair Shores Lakeview (2-7, 0-5).

Top four players

1. Grosse Pointe North running back Latorris Greer has the ability to bust loose for a big run with his 4.55 speed, rushing for more than 1,300 yards last season to lead the Norsemen to the state playoffs. He had 206 yards in a 24-21 loss to Cousino.

2. Roseville tackle Zak Hill (6-4, 320) is a dominant force on the line and protects the blind side of quarterback Evan Gates. Hill has started for multiple years and is a reason Roseville should battle Cousino and North for the division title.

3. Cousino strong safety Joe Servitto has a nose for the ball, coming up with 98 tackles and a pair of interceptions last season to help the Patriots to a Blue Division championship. Servitto had 10 tackles in last year's showdown win over North.

4. Fraser running back Luke Warchol rushed for more than 700 yards as a junior before breaking his leg and missing the final three games. He is fully recovered and expected to have a strong senior season.

Top four story lines

1. Cousino has 22 players back from its division championship team, including five starters on each side of the ball for second-year head coach Brad Nettles.

2. Former Fraser player (1995) and defensive coordinator (2000-10) Jon Skladanowski returns to take over as head coach of a team that made the playoffs last year under Pat Threet. He inherits a talented team, led by backs Luke Warchol and Dominic Mielke.

3. Longtime Grosse Pointe North coach Frank Sumbera must replace quarterback Dan Robinson and linebacker Lawrence Bryant, but returns 13 starters, including Latorris Greer, and has "great team speed and bigger kids (this year)," Sumbera said.

4. Pat Threet returns to St. Clair Shores Lakeview, where he was head coach from 2009-10, guiding Lakeview to a state playoff appearance in 2010. Lakeview has just five wins the last two years.

GOLD DIVISION

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 record in parentheses

1. Marysville (7-4, 3-2), 2. St. Clair (6-4, 3-2), 3. Marine City (10-1, 5-0), 4. Warren Woods-Tower (8-3, 3-2), 5. Sterling Heights (1-8, 0-5), 6. Port Huron Northern (3-6, 1-4).

Top four players

1. Marysville running back Ryan Ellul (6-1, 185) topped 1,000 yards last season to help the Vikings reach the state playoffs for the fourth straight year. He ran for 142 yards and three TDs in a postseason-clinching 39-20 rout of St. Clair Shores Lakeview.

2. Marine City linebacker Dennis Fitzsimmons (6-0, 215) had a strong junior season (85 tackles, 14 sacks) to help his team win the Gold Division for the 10th time in the last 11 years.

3. Marine City linebacker Jacob Headlee (6-0, 230) is coming off 170 tackles, including 79 solo hits, the last two years.

4. St. Clair lineman Darrien Rutledge (6-0, 260) is a big, strong two-way player, opening holes from his tackle position while getting to the quarterback on the other side.

Top four story lines

1. Marine City is the winningest program in the state the last 10 years (110-13) and has made the state playoffs 17 straight years, but has just four starters returning. Still, expect another playoff appearance with linebackers Dennis Fitzsimmons and Jacob Headlee.

2. Marysville should be the team to beat in the division with seven starters returning from a 7-4 team, including quarterback Phil Griffor and running back Ryan Ellul.

3. Al Gulick moves up from defensive coordinator to head coach at Warren Woods-Tower, replacing Mike Mahar, who guided the program to two state playoff appearances in his three years.

4. St. Clair lost talented quarterback Larry Ochadleus, who once carried the ball 43 times out of the option, but the Saints have 16 starters back for coach Bill Nesbitt, including lineman Darrien Rutledge.

SILVER DIVISION

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 record in parentheses

1. Madison Heights Madison (9-3, 5-0), 2. Warren Fitzgerald (6-4, 3-2), 3. Clintondale (4-5, 1-4), 4. East Detroit (4-5, 3-2), 5. St. Clair Shores Lake Shore (4-5, 2-3), 6. St. Clair Shores South Lake (2-7, 1-4).

Top four players

1. Clintondale tight end Josh Eldridge (6-4, 270), a CMU commit, is a four-year starter who doubles as a defensive end. "He's a great run blocker who has great hands and we plan to get him the ball a lot more this season," coach Dave Schindler said.

2. Fitzgerald quarterback Stephen Gregersen threw for 1,500 yards and ran for 750 more to lead his team to the postseason.

3. Fitzgerald junior defensive end Michael Kizer (6-4, 225) showed his ability to get to the quarterback last season, making 9.5 sacks. He doubles as a wide receiver.

4. Lake Shore running back Colton Randle (5-11, 200) is expected to have a strong senior season after showing his potential by rushing for 1,200 yards last year.

Top four story lines

1. Drake Wilkins has to replace talented running back Juan Johnson and quarterback Matthew Crews, who led Madison to a district championship.

2. Coach Dave Schindler found things tougher in the Silver Division after Clintondale went through the Bronze unbeaten in 2013. Seven starters return, including running back JuJuan Clowers (800 yards, eight TDs) and quarterback Devauhn Lewis, who is now healthy.

3. Don't be surprised if Clintondale challenges for the Silver Division title and a playoff appearance. With 13 starters back, it could pull out some of those tight games of last season (four losses by six points or less).

4. Fitzgerald will attempt to put together consecutive winning seasons with quarterback Stephen Gregersen (1,500 yards passing) and junior receiver Bryan Gordon (450 yards) leading the way.

BRONZE DIVISION

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 record in parentheses

1. Clawson (6-4, 5-0), 2. Warren Lincoln (1-8, 1-4), 3. Madison Heights Lamphere (3-6, 2-3), 4. Center Line (3-6, 2-3), 5. New Haven (2-7, 1-4), 6. Mount Clemens (4-5, 4-1).

Top four players

1. Clawson running back/linebacker Tavian Bridges (5-7, 175) will be counted on heavily on both sides of the ball, especially with the graduation loss of quarterback Ty Sparks. Bridges had 93 tackles.

2. Clawson junior quarterback Kourtney Manley will be taking over the offense, replacing Ty Sparks at quarterback after being on the receiving end a year ago. Manley had 47 receptions for 495 yards.

3. Lincoln third-year starting linebacker/tight end Cory Wilhoite will be counted on to anchor the Abes' defense after a solid junior season with 56 tackles, three forced fumbles and three interceptions.

4. Lamphere linebacker/running back Hunter Ward (6-3, 230) uses his size, strength and speed to get to ball carriers. He also can break loose for a score, as he did on a 66-yarder last year against Center Line.

Top four story lines

1. Quentin Hines, who played college ball at Akron before signing a free-agent contract with the Patriots in 2013, takes over as head coach at Mount Clemens.

2. Clawson coach Jim Sparks enters his 14th season as the head man and has a new turf for his team. But he will be without his quarterback and son, Ty Sparks.

3. Roland Bell is the fifth new head coach in as many years at New Haven, where he takes over a 2-7 team that has seven starters returning on both sides of the ball, but just five seniors.

4. Ben Torres also is new at Center Line. He will be looking for quarterback Andrew Lutzinger to help the team improve on last year's 3-6 record.

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