Eric Coughlin of The Detroit News preview the Huron League football season. Teams listed in predicted order of finish.
RIVERVIEW (11-2, 6-1)
Last year's champs return four starters on offense, including senior quarterback Dominic Wood, who ran for 655 yards last year, plus a pair of senior running backs in Kyle Naif and Ethan Lockhart. Senior defensive backs Steven Rice and Joseph Johnson, plus junior outside linebacker Tommy Gardner, will lead five returning starters for Coach Derek McLaughlin's defensive unit.
MILAN (5-5, 5-2)
With 11 combined returning starters on offense and defense, including quarterback D.J. Jones, Milan should improve on last year's third-place finish, especially with dynamic skill player Tristen Hines returning to the mix. On defense, Coach Jesse Hoskins boasts experience up front with defensive lineman Cray Pennington and linebacker Chris Beck.
FLAT ROCK (7-3, 5-2)
Experience won't be a strength for Flat Rock as Coach Brandon Reaume returns only seven starters combined on offense and defense. Junior quarterback Ravion Davis steps in at quarterback while senior running back Dustin Modi and senior wideouts Seth Kamin and Gio Estrada will be relied upon to help move the ball. Five starters return on defense, including three-year starter Michael Simons at middle linebacker, plus senior linemen Tyler Hedlund and Andrew Trimai.
MONROE ST. MARY CATHOLIC CENTRAL (7-5, 4-3)
After finishing middle-of-the-pack last year, Coach Adam Kipf returns five starters on offense. Senior running back Nick Marino is back after a 704-yard, six touchdown 2017. Junior running back Alex Morgan, senior tight end Bryce Iott and senior quarterback Josh Blanchett, along with Marino, will spearhead Catholic Central's rush-based offense. Six starters return on defense including junior linebacker Sam Cousino, senior defensive back John Ritchie and senior linebacker Toby Huber.
CARLETON AIRPORT (4-5, 2-5)
Coach Jim Duffy enters his second year with seven returning starters on offense, including a pair of senior running backs. Steffen Dyl had 12 touchdowns, with four of those coming on special teams in the return game, and Bryce Bondy found paydirt seven times last season. Seven starters also return on defense, led by junior outside linebacker Avery Adkins and junior safety Cole VanWasshenova.
NEW BOSTON HURON (5-5, 4-3)
Chad Smith takes over at New Boston Huron. Four starters return on offense and defense each, including senior offensive lineman Bruce Bennett, senior all-purpose back and safety Brent Wright and senior running back and linebacker Jeremy Williams. Senior defensive tackle Gavin Dean-Luczak returns on defense.
GROSSE ILE (2-7, 2-5)
Coach John Bodner has seven starters returning on offense. Senior running back Luke Harwood is back after a 456-yard rushing and 212-yard receiving effort last season, and quarterback Zak Thompson also returns after racking up more than 1,300 yards passing in 2017. Four starters return on defense, including linebackers Johnny Blanzy, who had 131 total tackles last season, and Josh Zemmin.
MONROE JEFFERSON (0-9, 0-7)
After finishing winless last year, Coach Gene Gennoe will try to get things back on track with three returning starters on offense. Junior quarterback Larry Wiggins had 429 rushing yards and 122 passing last season. Senior guard Hunter Russ and senior fullback Alek Poremba also return. On defense, linebacker Seth Lamb and defensive end Like Sandiefer lead three returning starters.