Coach: Mark Peach
Last year: 12-3 (Lost to Bowling Green in state finals)
Never miss a local story.
Top players: Austin Hall (TE/DE), Granville Hayes (RB/DB), Ross Cox (WR/DB), Tristin Ashburn (FB/LB), Crockett Cosby (OL/DL), Darius Harvey (OL/DL), Landon Searcy (OL/DL), Zach Carmichael (QB).
Outlook: The Bearcats, who made their first-ever state finals last year, have holes to fill (especially those left by stars Ethan Kelly and Seth Carmichael). Cosby, Harvey and Searcy are experienced linemen. Hayes (500 rushing yards, 8 TDs last year) and Cox (400 receiving yards, 6 TDs) should provide offensive spark. Zach Carmichael will take over for his brother at QB.
Coach: Adam Coleman
Last year: 4-7 (Lost to Harlan in first round of playoffs)
Top players: Daniel Hubbard (OL/DL), Hunter Wilson (FB/DE), Zach Cunningham (RB/LB), Devin Hester (RB/DB). Eli Woodie (WR/S), Robert Smith (OL/DL), Corey Mowery (RB/DB), Deondre Tate (QB/DB).
Outlook: The Pirates won three of their last five regular-season games in 2011, and hope to pick up that momentum with returning contributors. Hubbard and Smith will anchor the lines. Wilson, Cunningham and Hester will ease the load on freshman QB Tate.
Coach: John Hodge
Last year: 8-4 (Lost to Powell County in second round of playoffs)
Top players: Kentayvus Hopkins (RB/SS), Jaxson Hilander (WR/DB), Hadyn Cox (WR/DB), Dakota Mitchell (LB), Lucas Rutledge (OL/DL), Chase Berry (OL/DL), Jake Fooks (TE/DE), Brent Holman (RB/LB), Dalton Pope (QB/DB).
Outlook: Hopkins rushed for 2,957 yards and 38 TDs last season and will be the centerpiece of the new coach's offense. Pope is a transfer from Nicholas County, where he threw for almost 1,000 yards last year. Hilander had 600 receiving yards and 8 TDs last fall. Cox is a veteran receiver. Mitchell led the team in tackles in 2011.
Coach: Steven Collins
Last year: 3-8 (Lost to Ryle in first round of playoffs)
Top players: Darian Skinner (QB/DB), C.D. Spight (RB/LB), D'Avon Marshall (SB/DB), Sylan Mays (DL), Trevor Satterly (OL/DL), Brent Stoneking (WR), Khmarkis Blanton (WR), Kyle Wipert (WR), Logan Burchett (QB).
Outlook: Replacing Pokey Harris (more than 2,000 all-purpose yards) will be done by "spreading the wealth" according to first-year coach Collins. Skinner, Spight, Marshall, Blanton, Stoneking and Wipert will share the load. Mays and Satterly will anchor the lines. Thirty-one seniors will make for a mature team.
Coach: Mike Bowlin
Last year: 5-6 (Lost to Conner in first round of playoffs)
Top players: Hayden Tatum (RB/TE/LB), Tyler Edmundson (OL/DL), Blake Hinkle (RB/LB), Jacob Goldey (WR/DB), Billy Mitchell (OL/DL), Skyler Rose (QB/DB), Clay Harrison (WR/DB).
Outlook: The Jaguars must replace Cameron Thomas and his 1,700 rushing yards, but Hinkle, who ran for 679 yards last year, returns to spark the offense. Tatum has experience at receiver. Rose will take over the QB reins. Edmundson and Mitchell are veteran linemen.
Coach: Craig Foley
Last year: 7-6 (Lost to Beechwood in third round of playoffs)
Top players: Aaron Jackson WR/DB), Chris Hawkins (QB/FB/TE/DL), D.J. Washington (FB/TE/DL), Jalen Washington (Ath), Jackson O'Daniel (OL/DL), J.J. Jones (RB/LB).
Outlook: Jackson is a big-time talent (offers from Navy, EKU and Liberty) who had 591 receiving yards last year. Hawkins is getting Division II attention. They'll spark the team on both sides of the ball. A non-district schedule including Rockcastle County, Green County and Franklin County will prep the Panthers for district play.
Coach: Chris Tracy
Last year: 11-1 (Lost to Conner in second round of playoffs)
Top players: Ryan Timmons (WR/DB), Logan Woodside (QB), Chris Roberts (RB/DL), Greg Maupin (WR/LB), Joshua Pedone (TE/DB), James Maddox (RB/DB), Lorenzo McCaskell (WR/DB).
Outlook: Franklin County averaged 50 points a game last year, and has the firepower to be just as potent. Timmons (2,482 yards, 38 TDs rushing and receiving), Roberts (1,250 yards, 17 TDs rushing and receiving), Maupin (573 yards, 7 TDs receiving) and Woodside (2,560 yards, 29 TDs passing) will be complemented by a supporting cast that got valuable experience in backup roles last season.
Coach: Bert Browne
Last year: 5-6 (Lost to Boone County in first round of playoffs)
Top players: Dominique Hawkins (RB/DB), Hunter Stocker (QB), Brandon Parks (DE), Tucker Fair (LB), Taylor Nunley (OL/DL), Jamez Chenault (RB/DB), Ken-Jah Bosley (WR/DB), Paul Couch (DE), Austin Coyle (SS).
Outlook: The Indians should be ready to put three losing seasons in a row behind them. They return talented skill people, including Hawkins (1,167 yards rushing), Chenault (427 yards rushing) and Stocker (1,046 yards passing and running). Fair and Parks, two of leading tacklers last season, will lead the defense.
Coach: Jon Clark
Last year: 2-8 (Did not make playoffs)
Top players: Adam Simpson (QB/WR), Devante Linville (QB/WR/DB), Damien Harris (RB), Clayton Barnes (OL), Matt Howard (OL), Steven Brown (OL), Cosy Ocelli (RB), Coty Russell (RB), Brett Sipple (DL), Tyler Hagan (LB), Casey Dionne (DB), Derek Howard (DL), Aaron Sipple (LB).
Outlook: With nine starters back on offense and on defense, the Eagles expect to take a step forward under second-year coach Clark. Russell (790 yards, 9 TDs rushing), Harris (742 yards, 11 TDs rushing), Linville (733 yards passing) and Simpson (600 all-purpose yards, 8 TDs) return to spark the offense. Hagan, Dionne and the Sipples were among leading tacklers last season.
Coach: Brian Washington
Last year: 1-10 (Lost to Beechwood in first round of playoffs)
Top players: Nate Stevens (QB/DB), Tre Howard (OL/DL), Malik Washington (RB/LB), James Clark (RB/DB), Aaron Williams (RB/DB).
Outlook: Washington begins his second stint as Greyhounds coach and tries to revitalize the program. Stevens will spark the offense. He passed and ran for 1,500 yards and 14 TDs last season. Washington will anchor the defense. He had 77 solo tackles last year.
Coach: Jim McKee
Last year: 14-1 (Lost to Trinity in state finals)
Top players: Scott Daniel (WR), Dierrius Dumphord (RB), Damon Gray (LB), Kevo Edwards (RB), Thorrin Brant (OL), Von Christopher (DB), Charles Hughley (OL), Pat Murray (S), Akil Campbell (DE), Clay McKee (QB).
Outlook: The Cardinals have a tough act to follow after going unbeaten until losing to Trinity in state finals. But don't sell them short. Dumphord (1,209 yards, 20 TDs) and Edwards (677 yards, 7 TDs) return to the backfield. Daniel (48 catches, 971 yards, 9 TDs) is terrific at wideout. Gray is a force on defense. Brant and Hughley are offensive line veterans.
Coach: Graham Heasley
Last year: 1-9 (Did not make playoffs)
Top players: Robby Irgang (LB/WR), Ryan Horne (QB), Greg Gibson (OL/DL); Carter Hahn (LB/TE), Devin Taylor (RB/LB), Hunter Knuckles (LB/TE), Cody Jasper (OL/DL), Parker Lewis (OL/DL), Derrick Little (OL), Tyler Stewart (OL/DL), Carson Ball (WR), Jared Bowling (DL).
Outlook: The Colts' only win last season was sweet, coming against archrival East Jessamine. They expect a much better overall showing this year. Irgang, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker, will spark the defense. Horne (1,061 yards, 13 TDs rushing and passing) and Taylor (438 yards rushing) will ignite the offense.
Coach: Don Miller
Last year: 5-6 (Lost to Russell in first round of playoffs)
Top players: Casey McLean (RB/LB), Zach Hart (OL/LB), Nick Lockett (RB/LB), Trey Drury (OL/DL), Jared Banta (OL/DL), Ethan Cox (RB/DB), Mason Nicholson (RB/DB), Daniel Childress (QB/DB), Tyree Childress (OL/DL), Nick Young (QB/DB), Darreck Rogers (OL/DL).
Outlook: The Wolverines return three offensive linemen (Drury, Banta, Hart) and three linebackers (McLean, Hart, Lockett), but they're young just about everywhere else.
Coach: Steve Stonebraker
Last year: 6-4 (Did not make playoffs)
Top players: Conrad Smart (FB/LB), Elijah Jones (OL/DL), Kris Walling (OL/DL), Cody Allen (OL/DL), Logan Anderson (OL/DL), Domonique Jackson (OL/DL), George Bowen (QB), Jaren Holts (RB/DB), Wyatt Jobe (WR/DB), Jacob Lippert (TE/DE).
Outlook: Last year, the Yellowjackets had veterans at the skill positions but were inexperienced up front. The opposite is true this season. Jones leads a strong corps of linemen. Smart will be a force at fullback and linebacker. Woodford County's offense must develop to keep pace in a district that includes Franklin County and Anderson County.