Berkeley Prep, Clearwater Central Catholic, Fort Meade, Indian Rocks Christian, Lakeland Christian
Former 2B rivals Berkeley Prep and CCC move down in classification, but the competition is tough, with Fort Meade as top dog.
Three story lines
1. Holding the Fort: Bolstered by a defense that registered three shutouts and allowed just 5.9 points a game, Fort Meade's season ended with a loss in the Class A state final. Can the Miners get back there and win this time?
2. Can the Bucs rebound? Last year's 6-4 finish was okay, but Berkeley lost three of its last four to miss the postseason. Some big playmakers are gone, which means some younger players, such as sophomores QB Destin Nichols and WR Nelson Agholor, will have to step up.
3. Who's 'back' at IRC: The Eagles will have to shore up their backfield after losing 3,000 yards of offense from last year's 9-2 region semifinalist. Jonny Sitton, Ethan Englebert and Lou Mason are gone, which puts more on the shoulders of starting QB Blake Farver, and RBs Tyler Gatusso and Tyler Ostheim.
Fort Meade at Berkeley prep, Oct. 23: There's not going to be a bigger game for the Bucs this season. Good thing: It's at home; bad thing: It's Fort Meade.
CCc at Irc, Oct. 9: These teams haven't met in years. Not only will Pinellas County bragging rights be on the line, it's also a pivotal district game.
District's five best players
1. Jimmy Office, Sr., DL, Fort Meade: One of the top defensive tackles in the state, the 6-foot, 245-pounder can also play linebacker as well as fullback.
2. Nelson Agholor, So., WR/DB, Berkeley Prep: Already among MaxPreps' Top 100 sophomores, his playmaking skills will be used on special teams, too.
3. Nick Newton, Jr., WR, CCc: The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder can play a variety of positions; he reminds coaches of former CCC standout Riley Cooper.
4. Sean Harvey, Sr., OL, Indian Rocks Christian: One of four returning offensive linemen, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Harvey is getting the most attention from college coaches.
5. Tyler Blandin, Sr., CB, Fort Meade: The 5-foot-11, 160-pounder is good in coverage and can deliver a hit.
Predicted order of finish
1. Fort Meade
2. Berkeley Prep
5. Lakeland Christian