With practice starting tomorrow there are quite a few questions to be answered around the league.
Here are a few:
How will Airport fare without Eric Redmond?
The cupboard certainly isn't bare but Redmond picked a good time to move onto Monroe. The Jets return the explosive Jodeci Mays and Derek Williams but must find a way to replace Daniel Jones, Tyler Baker, Dylan Close, Dakota Klocek, Nick Riopelle, Drew Nava, Brian Hamerick and Tyler Pluff. Those players formed the nucleus of another fine Jet squad. All of them received Huron League honors last year and will be tough to replace. First year coach Adam Barber will have a hard time replacing Redmond and an even harder time replacing those starters.
Can SMCC replace their potent backfield?
Gone are Huron League Offensive Player of the Year and quarterback Michael Howey, fullback T.J. Lovell and RB Chris LaBeau. Say hello to Jack Cusumano, Luke Yinger and Andrew Lamour. The Falcons have virtually everyone back on their offensive line and these trio of players can flat out fly. I don't expect the Falcons to miss a beat on offense and dare I say that Cusumano can throw the ball a bit.
Can Huron replace one of the greatest tacklers in league history?
I don't think Huron has a player on their roster with the talent and instincts of Tyler Weclowski but is there a team in the league that does? Huron will probably have to count on their entire line backing corp to make that many tackles this year. That may be a blessing in disguise as the Chiefs won't always count on someone else to make a tackle.
What team will be the leagues biggest surprise?
I think that will go to Riverview. Something clicked late in the season and the Pirates have loads of talent coming back. They boast one of the best defensive players in the league in Brad Bosman and running back Ali Saad appears poised to have a big year on offense. Jeff Stergalas will not be out coached by anyone in the league and that should result in a run at the playoffs.
Practice starts tomorrow and I may find myself at a few practices in the afternoon.