High schools

2017 Eastern Massachusetts high school football team-by-team previews

Lexington, MA - 8/26/17 - Andover quarterback Nick Dellato during a scrimmage between Lexington and Andover High School at the Lexington High School field on Saturday, August 26, 2017. (Nicholas Pfosi for The Boston Globe) Reporter: Logan Mullen Topic: 03wefootba(2)
Nicholas Pfosi for The Boston Globe
Nick Dellato is Andover’s quarterback this season.

Here is a look at each EMass football team heading into the 2017 season. Schools are listed alphabetically; click on a letter below to jump to a different section.

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Abington

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

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Coach: James M. Kelliher (44th season). Career: Career: 267-186-10.

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Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Returning seniors, linebackers.

Concerns: Offensive line, depth.

Offense: Wing-T

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Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With a team on the young side, the Green Wave will lean on their experienced seniors to start the season. Senior quarterback Jack Maguire returns for a team that reached the Division 4A South semifinals last season. Maguire will have seniors Brian Cashman and Kyle Rogers as returning targets. Coach James Kelliher said senior Ethan Curtin will be among players to watch as a wideout that has developed into a well-rounded talent. Seniors Garrett Porter (guard) and Mike Broomstein (tackle) will help a younger line get adjusted to the next level. ‘‘I think once they get adjusted, the incoming sophomores will make a mark,’’ said Kelliher. ‘‘I think we can surprise some people. They’ll compete and fight every single game.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at East Bridgewater

Acton-Boxborough

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: Tim Bassett (1st season). Career: 0-0.

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Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Talent at skill positions.

Concerns: Lack of depth at linebacker.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Longtime head coach Bill Maver is out and Tim Bassett is in. It’s part of a new era for the Colonials, one they hope builds upon last season’s underwhelming 4-7 record. Given the brief amount of time he’s had to install new schemes on both offense and defense, Bassett is impressed by where his group is at. ‘‘I’m pretty happy with where the kids are,’’ he said. ‘‘I gave them a playbook at the end of last school year. They learned a lot of the basics on their own and we were able to hit the ground running.’’ The shift from a Wing T offense to the spread may be rocky in the early going, but Bassett was adamant about the change, in part because of junior quarterback Finn Murray. As a sophomore, Murray started every game. Now, he’ll have a swath of talent around him including senior running back Kyle Camposano, a perfect fit for the newly installed offense.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Chelmsford

Amesbury

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Colin McQueen (1st season). Career: 0-0..

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Athleticism, versatility

Concerns: Replacing majority of starters

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The team’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons, 28-year-old Colin McQueen takes on an expanded role at Amesbury as head coach. He steps in for athletic director Glen Gearin, who had coached the Indians for three seasons. The Indians’ team speed excites McQueen, who will still coach the defense. ‘‘The speed and versatility of our players helps us match up against any type of offense that we face while minimizing our personnel changes,’’ he said. The Indians also return junior quarterback Blake Bennett, who started 10 games last season in place of injured senior Garrett Collins. The Indians host Norwell on Sept. 9 in the season-opener.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., vs. Norwell

Andover

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: EJ Perry (8th season). Career: 51-26.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Size up front.

Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After being shred apart on defense in their first two games of 2016, the Golden Warriors bounced back, reaching the Division 1 North final where they fell to eventual champion Everett. With the loss of standout quarterback E.J. Perry to graduation (now at BC), Andover’s 2017 outlook remains a question mark. Nick Dellatto steps under center to replace Perry at QB. Still, the elder Perry’s squad is deep all around. Senior wideout Cedric Gillette was borderline un-coverable in Andover’s thrilling 54-48 playoff win over Lexington last season. Junior running back Tommy Duncan will shoulder more of a load than Andover’s 2016 running back core due to Perry’s graduation. Said the elder Perry, ‘‘We’re ahead of where we thought we’d be.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. BC High

Apponequet

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Zane Fyfe (3rd season). Career: 8-14.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Backfield

Concerns: Young starters

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Lakers closed out the 2016 season with two wins in its final four games in their second season under Zane Fyfe. Junior backs Shayne Cooney, Brent Dixon and Bryce Burris all return on offense. The trio will also be the defensive anchors at linebacker. Senior Jimmy Sferrazza will split out wide while also patrolling the back end of the defense.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Middleborough

Archbishop Williams

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Bill Kinsherf (22nd season). Career: Career: 114-114-1.

Last year’s record: 6-4

Strengths: Line, defense

Concerns: Replacing key players

Offense: Pro set

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Bishops look poised for a strong campaign, with 15 seniors returning to the lineup. Eight starters return on defense, including senior captains Tom Veasey at outside linebacker and John Connolly at defensive end. Both three-year starters can stop the run and play in pass coverage, according to head coach Bill Kinsherf. Senior running back Oronde Alfred returns to the lineup after rushing for 455 yards and five touchdowns. At quarterback, replacing three-year starter Jack Rega will be key. Senior Nick Riley and sophomore Neil Sanders will compete for the job. After making 13 catches for 186 yards last season, senior receiver Sean LaVallee will be a top target on offense.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., at Stoneham

Arlington

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Ryan Gendron (3rd season). Career: 9-13.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Returning skill players.

Concerns: Offensive line.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Spy Ponders hope for a turnaround after finishing last in the Middlesex League Liberty Division a year ago. With a season under his belt, junior QB Adam Bowler will reunite with top targets Alijah Woods, Cully Curran, and Adam Elyounssi. Senior MLBs John Bowen and Ben Curico will lead the defense. ‘‘With so many young players earning varsity experience last season, we’re excited about their progression as juniors and seniors,’’ said Gendron.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Cambridge

Arlington Catholic

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Serge Clivio (27th season). Career: Career: 127-171..

Last year’s record: 0-11

Strengths: Experience, linebackers, offensive line

Concerns: Running back, team speed

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Arlington Catholic is ready to put the past two seasons after compiling two wins (0-11 in 2016) in its last 22 games. The Cougars’ underclassmen did gain invaluable experience during that stretch, which should lend itself to a better 2017. One player targeting a turnaround is senior quarterback Michael Burke. ‘‘He’s just improved leaps and bounds, and he’s come back with a lot more confidence this year,’’ said coach Serge Clivio. Seniors Kordell Parrish and Kieran Mullen provide Burke with a pair of quality targets in the passing game. The Cougars also added 6-foot-5, 260-pound tackle Luke Von-Hunnius (6-5, 260), a transfer from St. Clement. With Catholic Central All-Star Joe Greaney leading a strong group of linebackers, the Cougars appear poised for a turnaround.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Watertown

Ashland

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Andrew MacKay (7th season). Career: 33-33.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Senior leadership

Concerns: Inexperience

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With 90 players on the roster, Andrew MacKay’s has a deep squad for his seventh season. Graduation claimed 18 players, but the Clockers have 18 seniors on the roster, though just three returning starters on each side of the ball. The preseason was a work in progress, but it produced great competition at a number of positions. Seniors Don Jones and Luke Gustavson fuel the spread attack and classmates Evan Smith and Manoj Donepudi are anchors in the trenches.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Seekonk

Attleboro

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Michael Strachan (5th season). Career: 21-23.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Dynamic talent at skill positions.

Concerns: The kicking game.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Attleboro coach Michael Strachan knows that for his team to be successful, it will need to score more points. ‘‘We’ll be multiple,’’ he said of the offensive scheme he plans to run. ‘‘It’s something that we like to build off of and our kids are very comfortable with. We’ve been pretty successful offensively over the last few years.’’ The Bombardiers are led by senior quarterback Cam Furtado and slot back Justin Cote. While the defense is more of a question mark - Attleboro allowed more than 28 points per game last season - there’s talent on that side as well. Senior returning starters James Weir and Nathan Barboza lead a linebacking core that hopes to improve upon its inconsistent 2016. Attleboro opens against Cumberland (R.I.) on Sept. 8.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Cumberland (R.I.)

Austin Prep

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Bill Maradei (39th season). Career: Career: 272-137-4 overall, 172-76 at Austin Prep.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Returning backfield

Concerns: Offensive and defensive lines

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Cougars will lean on senior captain Jake Thain (RB/WR) and junior quarterback Matt Rubino as they set their sights on reversing last season’s misfortunes. Rubino showed improvement in the preseason. ‘‘He’s got experience. He’s grown a lot. He’s taller and stronger. He’s a tough kid who throws a good ball,’’ said coach Bill Maradei, who hopes the offensive and defensive lines can overcome their struggles from last season. ‘‘We’ve got a lot of opportunity for people to win jobs on the offensive and defensive lines,’’ he said.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Salem

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Barnstable

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Chris Whidden (7th season). Career: 39-28..

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Experience at skill positions.

Concerns: Inexperience on defensive front.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The main goal for coach Chris Whidden and his Red Raiders’ squad is simple: Outperform their ability. Senior center and linebacker Lou Cocozza will be heavily leaned on up front while Zeb Tilton (WR/DB), Sam Rosen (WR/DB), and Ryan Welsh (RB/DB) are dangerous offensive weapons. Early in camp Whidden said, ‘‘we are still in the determining phase of what we actually are going to be.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., at Dennis-Yarmouth

BC High

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Jonathan Bartlett (8th season). Career: 52-25.

Last year’s record: 6-4

Strengths: Speed.

Concerns: Passing game.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: 2016 was an up-and-down year for the Eagles. While they clearly possessed enough talent to hang with the best in Division 1, their offense at times went stagnant, namely against Xaverian, who shut them out twice including in the Division 1 South final. While some of the 2016 roster is gone, the main offensive cog returns: running back Danny Abraham. Already a verbal commit to Harvard, Abraham ran for 385 yards and four touchdowns in last year’s season opener against Andover and has an uncanny combination of speed and strength when he gets into space. Defensively, speedy cornerback Bobby DeMeo will match up on opponent’s top receivers, the senior a key reason why the Eagles pitched three shutouts in 2016.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Andover

Bedford

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Tom Tone (1st season). Career: 0-0..

Last year’s record: 5-5

Strengths: Offensive line, leadership

Concerns: Adapting to new offensive and defensive systems

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The first order of business for first-year Buccaneers head coach Tom Tone involved implementing new offensive and defensive systems. The defensive coordinator at Bishop Guertin the past two seasons, Tone hopes to run an uptempo, spread offense while the defense transitions to a 4-3 look. ‘‘It’s always a challenge just trying to implement a new system both offensively and defensively,’’ said Tone, who has worked as an assistant at Billerica, Somerville, and Methuen, where he is a teacher. ‘‘That takes a little while.’’ The offensive line and skill position players impressed Tone in the preseason, and seniors Logan Brust, Tim Regan and Toby Hart have all demonstrated leadership traits.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Oliver Ames

Bellingham

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Dan Haddad (3rd season). Career: Career: 8-14.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Offensive skill

Concerns: Experience

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Blackhawks return eight players on defense and seven players on offense. After having a roster of mostly sophomores last season, coach Dan Haddad feels that the fear of playing a tough schedule has waned for this team. Replacing running back Zach Levy (21 touchdowns) will be a tall task for, but Haddad feels the offense is a strength. Senior AJ Pelletier will step in as an elusive back with a mix of power. Junior Jim Kilduff will take over under center, a quick quarterback with a strong arm, according to Haddad. Freshman WR Chris Domercant is poised for a breakout season as a disciplined player with good hands.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Blackstone-Millville/Hopedale

Belmont

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Yann Kumin (4th season). Career: 11-22.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: WR, RB, secondary.

Concerns: Offensive line.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The offense will look to take a big step forward in 2017. Senior WRs Will Ellet and Jake Pollock will be go-to guys for QB George Fitzgerald, a first-year starter as a senior. ‘‘He really studies the game, and he works very hard at it,’’ said Kumin. Linebacker Adam Deese (6-4, 245), a Middlesex League All-Star, shifts to the middle after playing on the outside in 2016. Sound defense and tackling will key a winning season for the Marauders.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Milton

Beverly

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Andrew Morency (2nd season). Career: 67-48.

Last year’s record: 9-3

Strengths: OL, DL, offensive backfield.

Concerns: WR, MLB, and DB.

Offense: Pro set

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After taking home the Division 2 North title a year ago, Beverly looks to repeat with strong, experienced lines on both sides of the ball. Captains Ben Ames, Paul O’Feish, and William Shaw start on both lines, and will pave the way for dangerous senior RB duo Ameer Alshrafi and Clayton McAlpine. The team will miss leading tackler LB Hugh Calice, who is playing for Merrimack. Competitions for important spots at QB and defensive back create uncertainty for a team otherwise poised for success.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., at Lynn English

Billerica

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Duane Sigsbury (4th season). Career: 53-16.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Strong senior class.

Concerns: Overall depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After falling two points short of winning the Division 2 North title last year, the Indians lost three seniors to D1 college programs. Twin RB/LBs Pat and Ryan Quinn, both senior captains, will be physical presences on both sides of the ball. Senior QB Tom Landry will start for the first time in his career in Week 1 vs. Burlington. DE Mickey Ricard, an Merrimack Valley All-Conference selection in 2016, is expected to set the tone up front.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Burlington

Bishop Connolly

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Jay Furtado (1st season). Career: First year.

Last year’s record: 3-7

Strengths: Fullback

Concerns: Inexperience

Offense: Power I

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With many holes to fill, coach Jay Furtado hopes to rebuild the Cougars this year. ‘‘I’m basically coaching a freshmen football team at the varsity level,’’ he said. After a tough season last year, some players left the program. Furtado, whose main goal now is to have players understand how to play the game, picked Ethan Medeiros as his quarterback, despite the fact the junior has never played the position. Senior Matt Cliff will line up at fullback.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Mashpee

Bishop Feehan

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Gary Doherty (1st season). Career: 98-132-1 (19 seasons at Framingham).

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Competition, new energy.

Concerns: Lack of experience, depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Coach Gary Doherty enters his first season leading the Shamrocks with competition across the depth chart, with new players being filtered into the new spread system. Senior Zach Penta will be a key cog on both sides of the ball, lining up at tight end and linebacker. Quarterback is still a question mark with two still fighting for the right to lead the huddle. Doherty looks to start a new tradition in Attleboro.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Falmouth

Bishop Fenwick

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Dave Woods (20th season). Career: 157-70..

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Quarterback

Concerns: Experience on defense, running back

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: It would surprise coach Dave Woods if 2017 isn’t the year in which quarterback Cory Bright sets a school record. The junior, who was voted a team captain last November, is three touchdown passes away from tying the school mark of 29. Woods continues to hand the third-year starter more responsibility within the offense. ‘‘He’s great at reading defenses and checking out of plays, but he could also be a fullback in anybody’s offense,’’ Woods said of the 5-10, 185-pound signal-caller. Bright threw for more than 2,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,200 as an underclassman.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m., vs. Hamilton-Wenham

Bishop Stang

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Dennis Golden (1st season). Career: First year (75-89-1 career, including past two years at CM).

Last year’s record: 3-7

Strengths: Focus, willingness to learn new system

Concerns: Learning a new system

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The coach at Catholic Memorial the past two years, Dennis Golden is back home, as AD and head coach at Stang. Golden will have plenty of weapons to plug into his spread attack. Tim Manley and Justin Lopes both took snaps during the preseason. When they aren’t running the show they’ll see action at receiver or in the backfield. Matt Pauliks is another back/receiver. Senior Alex Govoni is a stopper at linebacker. Bryan Lester and Noah Gagnon anchor both lines.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1:30 p.m., vs. Nantucket

Blue Hills

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Ed Catabia (10th season). Career: Career: 67-35.

Last year’s record: 8-5

Strengths: Speed

Concerns: Inexperience in certain areas

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: For the Warriors, it’s all about being competitors this year. After falling, 19-18, to Old Colony in the first round of the playoffs last year, they are aiming to be aggressive this season. ‘‘We need to be competitors first before we think about anything else,’’ said coach Ed Catabia. ‘‘We need to put 11 on the field and we need to be competitive as a team. We are trying to build up the team so everybody understands what’s going on with the program.’’ The Warriors will rely on quarterback Andrew Bryant and running back Adrian Wright to lead the team.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 4 p.m., vs. Hull

Boston English

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Ryan Conway (2nd season). Career: 4-7.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Hunger, excitement, enthusiasm.

Concerns: Inexperience, depth.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With just two seniors on the roster and not many returning starters, what this season’s Boston English team lacks in experience it makes up for in enthusiasm. ‘‘We’re young, we’re hungry, and the kids have a great attitude,’’ English coach Ryan Conway said. One of the senior leaders ready for an impact season is offensive and defensive lineman Cyril Blair. Junior safety David Robinson and running back Garry Robinson are also poised for big years. English saw a lot of their upperclassmen transfer after last season and now coach Conway is trying to establish as much consistency in the program as he can. ‘‘I’m trying to change the culture of English football,’’ Conway said. ‘‘I’m these seniors third head coach so there hasn’t been to much consistency here. The goal is to get better every day and create a family environment.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., vs. O’Bryant

Boston Latin

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Ray Butler (2nd season). Career: 8-33 overall, 4-7 at Boston Latin.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Linebackers

Concerns: Inexperience

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Considering the number of Dual County League teams throwing the ball these days, the well-traveled Butler has opted for something unorthodox to combat the spread movement: a modified version of ex-NFL coach Buddy Ryan’s fabled 46 defense, an idea he picked up from his stops in the college ranks. ‘‘One of the reasons we do it is no one else does it,’’ Butler said. ‘‘Doing something different helps in the preparation.’’ With a front seven led by linebackers Aidan Kilgannon and Will Parsons and defensive tackle Kevin Qi, the Wolfpack could surprise teams in the DCL Small. Offensively, junior quarterback Devin Vasquez has picked up Butler’s read-option scheme after showing promise in mop-up duty last fall.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m., at Brookline

Bourne

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: John McIntyre (8th season). Career: Career: 33-53.

Last year’s record: 1-10

Strengths: Offensive line, experience

Concerns: Size, depth

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Last year was a learning curve for a team of mostly underclassmen. With the majority of the team returning, coach John McIntyre feels confident in this group. The Canalmen will move from a Spread offense to a Double Wing, hoping to establish the ground game early behind an experienced front seven. Seniors Colby Gaertner (tight end), Louie Gordon (guard), Nick Fasoli (center), and Chance Beck (fullback) will be tasked with leading the way. ‘‘I think if we execute and stay healthy we can be competitive this season,’’ said McIntyre.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Upper Cape

Braintree

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Brian Chamberlain (7th season). Career: 27-39..

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Speed and athleticism.

Concerns: Lack of experience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Wamps enter the season having graduating 27 seniors from last year’s team, but coach Brian Chamberlain believes this won’t affect the program and its progress one bit. ‘‘We have some good football players that are going to win,’’ Chamberlain said. ‘‘If we keep progressing the way we have been we should be okay.’’ Zach Harris makes the switch from running back to quarterback, giving Braintree an extra ingredient of explosiveness offensively with Billy Silvia now in the backfield. Leading them up front will be 6-7, 300-pound senior Trumayne Guy.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Quincy

Bridgewater-Raynham

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Dan Buron (25th season). Career: 185-77-2.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Experience at skill positions.

Concerns: Difficult schedule.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Trojans’ schedule might be one of the toughest in all of Eastern Mass. A season opener at Duxbury (Sept. 8), followed up by a trip to Xaverian (Sept. 15) and a date later in the season at St. John’s Prep (Oct. 20) are only a few of the challenges Dan Buron’s squad will face. The loss of all-everything running back Shawn Noel Jr. hurts, but with Corey Sullivan back under center - and a good core of new tailbacks - the offense should be a fun one to watch once again.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Duxbury

Brighton

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Randolph Abraham (6th season). Career: Career: 36-18.

Last year’s record: 10-1

Strengths: Senior leadership

Concerns: Young offensive line

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Bengals averaged 32.2 points per game in 2016 and, unfortunately for opposing defenses, head coach Randolph Abraham will return most of his offensive firepower. Seniors William Jean, Jerrod Clark, and Erick Brown combined for 36 touchdowns from the skill positions, and junior quarterback Patrick Bynoe has secured the starting quarterback spot. Abraham said his defense is a well-tested unit, with four returning starters. He said the offensive line is a potential area of concern, but added that the young group is eager to prove themselves.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., vs. North Reading

Bristol-Plymouth

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: John Parris (11th season). Career: Career: 48-50.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Returning players

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Pro set

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Head coach will be counting on his returning seniors to get the season started off on the right track. Key among that group are senior wide receiver Nick Power and tight end Conner Lapworth. The Craftsmen are hoping to improve upon their 13.8 points per game on offense last season.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Case

Brockton

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Peter Colombo (15th season). Career: 103-47.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Quarterback depth, health.

Concerns: Inexperience in secondary.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Whether it was standout Kerry Raymond in 2015 or Junior Monteiro in 2016, Brockton has suffered an inordinate number of key losses to injury the past two seasons. With the 2017 regular season here, the Boxers’ current health outlook is far more rosy. Monteiro returns as a senior quarterback poised as the ballcarrier in read-option sets. Mike Norman and Tom O’Brien both filled in for Monteiro under center last year and return as viable options running the offense. After starting a handful of sophomores last season, coach Peter Colombo feels more confident his current group can erase last year’s disappointing 5-6 mark. ‘‘Overall, depth and experience (are) our strong suit,’’ he said. While the Boxers have yet to hash out who will get the majority of snaps under center, their defense offers a bit more clarity. Junior defensive tackle A.J. Walker leads a formidable line that will continue to stuff opposing running backs. Senior linebacker and running back Dexter Cumberland started for Everett before transferring to Brockton this season. Said Colombo, ‘‘He’s had some knee issues but when he’s healthy he’s an impact player and will help our defense a lot.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., at Lexington

Brookline

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Keith Thomas (5th season). Career: 10-34.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Athleticism at skill positions.

Concerns: Inexperience on offensive line.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: A string of rough seasons for the Warriors prompted coach Keith Thomas to shake things up on the offensive end heading into 2017. Brookline plans to operate in a spread offense, a shift from the Wing T it ran in 2016. And what better time to implement a new scheme then with a team full of youth and potential? How the Warriors fare when they have the ball will hinge on junior tailback Amari Withers, the team’s primary playmaker. Senior tight end and defensive end Liam Downey will add a dose of experience on the edges for Brookline, which lost eight of its final nine contests in 2016. Said Thomas, ‘‘We were starting three sophomores at offensive line in (our) first scrimmage. We’re going to go through our growing pains but in the end they’ll come together and get it.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m., vs. Boston Latin

Burke

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Byron Beaman (7th season). Career: 19-44.

Last year’s record: 5-5

Strengths: Experience.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Burke is looking to improve on last season’s 5-5 mark. The Bulldogs scored an average of 18 points per game while allowing 20.6 points a season ago. It’s not out of the question to think Burke can improve with running back Israel Lara returning for his senior campaign. Defensively, linebacker Rishaad Sheppard will anchor the middle of the field. Cornerback Ernst Clercin will look to solidify the secondary while defensive end Jawon Stone is a force up front. Burke will need to find a new quarterback this season but if they fill that role they could be a dangourous team in the Boston City League South.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m., at Weston

Burlington

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Dan MacKay (1st season). Career: First year, 0-0 overall.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Offensive and defensive lines, skill positions.

Concerns: Youth, inexperience.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With just nine seniors and only seven returning starters, the first season of the Dan MacKay era will be a youth movement. But the Red Devils’ sophomore class, particularly quarterback Khyle Pena and receivers Jake McCauley and Ryan O’Halloran, has MacKay encouraged about the program’s future, and even its present. ‘‘Put it this way, he can make any throw,’’ MacKay said of Pena, who’s made some of the most difficult throws look routine. ‘‘He’s got a very strong arm, he’s a very accurate passer. He’s already showing that.’’ Pena will get a chance to showcase that promise in an offense that will typically deploy four-receiver sets, led by McCauley, O’Halloran, and senior speedster Mike Pavao. When the Devils run, senior captain Cody Davison will look to eat up tough yards inside, while junior Tom DeRosa should be a solid scatback option with his pass-catching ability. Up front, junior bookend tackles Andrew Woods and Tom Splagouinos are healthy again, while guards Johnson Magada and Luke Lord man the interior. Some similar faces dot the front seven on defense, but keep an eye on Sean McGillivray at middle linebacker.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Billerica

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Cambridge

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: Roy Howard (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Skilled positions.

Concerns: Inexperience.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Roy Howard becomes the head of the Cambridge program, moving up from his assistant position. The Falcons have a strong group of young players coming back that includes quarterback Javon Harden, Andrew Anilus (WR), Jimmy Dorielan (RB), and Tariq Lucona (WR/CB). ‘‘Our goal has always been to just compete and learn on and off the football field,’’ said Howard, whose team will begin its fourth season competing in the Dual County League.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Arlington

Canton

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Dave Bohane (12th season). Career: Career: 42-69-1.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Depth at skill positions; athleticism

Concerns: OL/DL inexperience; tough schedule

Offense: Pistol

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After last year’s disappointing finish, the Bulldogs are looking to bounce back with a very young, but deep squad. Among the eight total returning starters, senior defensive back Tony Harris is determined to make his third year his best in Green & White. Linebacker Alec Ragusa is ready for a strong senior year too. Coach Dave Bohane calls sophomore quarterback John Hagan a ‘‘young and athletic quarterback who is ahead of the game for his age.’’ The major concern for Canton is inexperience on the offensive and defensive lines. Senior captain Kearvens Theodore is a returning two-way starter in the trenches.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Pentucket

Cape Cod Tech

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Chris Leonard (7th season). Career: Career: 7-49.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Running backs, backfield, and linebackers.

Concerns: Young offensive line and defensive backs

Offense: Read option

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With seven skillful seniors graduated, Cape Cod will rely on running backs, Archer Estenvil and Marcus Aylmer, who combined for around 1,400 yards last year. After a 3-8 season, coach Chris Leonard said that their main focus is to be competitive in the league. ‘‘We got the horses to do it so we are trying to get kids in position so they get ready to roll,’’ said Leonard.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., vs. Monomoy

Cardinal Spellman

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Ron St. George (10th season). Career: 73-39 at Spellman (256-124-5 overall)..

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Total team effort, progressing well.

Concerns: Lack of depth.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With plenty of returners on both sides of the ball there is enthusiasm coming out of the Cardinal camp. In his 10th year, coach Ron St. George sees a purpose in his players and was happy with the effort in camp. Senior QB Rob Maguire pilots the attack, classmate Justin Olowu is coming off a 1,200-plus yard rushing season, and fellow senior Jack Kingston is another weapon. Senior Mike Spencer (6-6, 205 pounds) lines up at tight end and D end. Junior Andrew Force (6-2, 280) is a is a three-year starter in the trenches.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Hanover

Carver

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Michael Fraccalossi (22nd season). Career: Career: 84-113-3.

Last year’s record: 4-6

Strengths: Returning line

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With an experienced line and senior running back Casey Fernandez returning, the Crusaders could be a tough team in the South Shore League. For a team that went 4-6 last season, replacing quarterback Chris Willis will be a point of focus for coach Michael Fraccalossi.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., at Martha’s Vineyard

Case

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Anthony Palladino (4th season). Career: Career: 12-32.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Defense, offensive line

Concerns: New quarterback, new offensive scheme

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Head coach Anthony Palladino feels he has a playoff team, with seven returning starters on defense. Junior inside linebacker Ty Couto will be among the key leaders after recording 105 tackles last season. Moving from the Spread to a Wing T will be a point of concern, along with getting a new quarterback adjusted. Mobile quarterbacks senior Devin Proulx and sophomore Danny Silva will compete for the job. Couto and junior Chris Costa (12 touchdowns) return at running back and should help provide an early boost. ‘‘I feel that we have the talent and ability to be a playoff team,’’ said Palladino. ‘‘We just have to be sound at running and stopping the run.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Bristol-Plymouth

Cathedral

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Paul Sobolewski (2nd season). Career: 9-2 (64-67 overall).

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Offensive line, running backs.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Running back Khalil Blair exploded onto the scene last season, leading Division 4 in scoring with 31 touchdowns. Blair is back and ready to pick up where he left off. Cathedral will also have quarterback Anthony Mejia and running back Khamal Headon back this season along with four of last years starting offensive lineman, making the Panthers one of the more dangerous offenses in Division 8. Senior Randy Williams will be starting at center for the third year while 6-foot-2 260-pound tackle Jose Delosantos is also returning for his senior campaign. Cathedral has seven returners on defense led by linebacker Ajan Nelson. Cathedral is trying not to look too far ahead but it’s easy to envision this team making a deep tournament run.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., at Latin Academy

Catholic Memorial

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Brent Williams (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Secondary.

Concerns: Adjusting to new coaching staff.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: ‘‘We knew coming in that we had a ton of starters to replace,’’ said first-year coach Brent Williams of the challenges 2017 will bring, and boy is he right. Still, the Knights should hold their own in the always competitive Catholic Conference. With defensive end Dan Boyle already in tow and Durfee transfer Hunter Salmon a fresh addition to the men in red, CM will be formidable up front. Add in an experienced secondary and the defense figures to be its usual stout self. The question marks come on offense. Though Williams would love to play a smash-mouth style of football, the speed of his roster convinced him to adapt and run the spread.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. St. John’s (Shrewsbury)

Central Catholic

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: Chuck Adamopoulos (21st season). Career: 150-68.

Last year’s record: 8-2

Strengths: Two-way talent at wide receiver and in secondary.

Concerns: Inexperience at linebacker.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Central Catholic still has players on its roster who played in the 2015 Division 1 Super Bowl loss to Xaverian. That same group suffered a thumping at the hands of Everett in last year’s D1 North semifinal. With a plethora of key returnees, the Raiders hope to make a jump in 2017. Bret Edwards threw 14 touchdown passes in 2016 and returns for his senior season as the leader of coach Chuck Adamopoulos’s speedy spread attack. But Adamopoulos says it’s senior Mathias Villafane who’s due for a breakout season. ‘‘(Mathias) has been a good player for us right through,’’ he said of the wide receiver and cornerback. ‘‘We take him for granted a little bit but he’s a playmaker on offense and a really good cover kid on defense. He’s very consistent.’’ Add senior lineman Ryan Burns and the Raiders are in solid position to retake the Merrimack Valley Conference throne. ‘‘We did not win the league last year and that is something that haunted us at the end of the season,’’ Adamopoulos said. ‘‘Our first focus is the MVC.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Dartmouth

Charlestown

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: David Cahill (4th season). Career: 3-25.

Last year’s record: 1-8

Strengths: Quarterback.

Concerns: Inexperience at skill positions.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With just one returning starter from last season the Charlestown football team will have a lot of new players on the field come week one. Center Deandre Smith is the lone returner for the Townies. Despite the lack of returners Charlestown is entering the season with experience at quarterback. After transferring from South Boston, Steven Williams is set to make his Charlestown debut under center. Williams is a talented passer and ran a similar spread attack with the Knights last year. The addition of Williams allowed Charlestown to move Quarmise Epps from quarterback to his natural position of receiver, giving Williams a dependable option on the outside.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2 p.m., at Pope John

Chelmsford

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: Dave Kaizer (2nd season). Career: 4-7.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Front 7 on defense, skill positions and kicking.

Concerns: Inexperience on offensive line.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: In his first year at the helm, coach Dave Kaizer saw vast improvement from August to November. With a number of starters at skill positions returning there is potential for even more improvement this season. ‘‘Our team goal is to go 1-0 every week, 1-0 every day and 1-0 every play,’’ said Kaizer. Sal Lupoli returns as a senior in the backfield and at linebacker for the Lions while senior Jack Slattery and Chris Bungard anchor a strong defensive line. The veteran leadership of Matt Hooton under center could be just the ingredient for a successful year.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Acton-Boxborough

Chelsea

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Jack Halas (3rd season). Career: Record: 6-16.

Last year’s record: 4-8

Strengths: Offensive and defensive lines

Concerns: Finding a quarterback

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Looking to improve on last year’s 4-8 record, coach Jack Halas feels his team is well prepared to win the battle in the trenches this season. ‘‘Our offensive and defensive lines are pretty good,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re young, but they’re good.’’ He also says he has faith in his front seven; his team will play a base 4-3, and senior defensive linemen Ronnie Buford and Rafael Reyes will be important in that scheme. Running backs Zach Leo and David Bui return to bolster the offensive backfield, but the Red Devils still need to figure out their starting quarterback situation in order to fire on all cylinders.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Lynn Tech

Cohasset

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Peter Afanasiw (12th season). Career: Career: 82-35.

Last year’s record: 5-5

Strengths: Experience

Concerns: Depth, staying healthy

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After overcoming a steep learning curve last season, coach Peter Afanasiw feels his team could be in the mix to compete for the South Shore League title. A team of mostly juniors and seniors now includes Noah Froio, an explosive player who can play running back and wide receiver. Splitting carries with him will be senior Michael Nolan. Senior captain Cal Osten returns as a linebacker/fullback. The team will have to incorporate a new QB for the first time in a few seasons. Junior Matt Lund and sophomore Tucker Fulton will compete for the job. ‘‘We stand a good chance of beating any team week to week,’’ said Afanasiw. ‘‘The key is being consistent and eliminating mistakes.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Rockland

Concord-Carlisle

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Mike Robichaud (9th season). Career: 68-25.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Work ethic, overall awareness.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Three games against Division 1 opponents to start the season provide a tough test for the Patriots. Senior RB/DB Jaylin Farquharson will again start in the backfield and the secondary. Mike Levinger, another senior, is a presence on both the offensive and defensive lines. Robichaud expects sophomore LBs Cam Ladd and Christian Gemelli to be impact players in their first full season.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 3 p.m., at Wellesley

Coyle & Cassidy

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Chris Pabst (3rd season). Career: Career: 3-19.

Last year’s record: 1-10

Strengths: Experience and offensive line

Concerns: Depth and staying injury-free

Offense: Triple option

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Warriors will look to make the playoffs in their third year under coach Chris Pabst. The Warriors graduated five seniors, including Connor Rodriguez, their all-time leading rusher from the last two years. Eleven seniors with experience playing both ways will improve the team overall. The Warriors also have quarterback Jackson Murray, who accounted for three TDs while playing the final four games of last season.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Nauset

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Danvers

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Ryan Nolan (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: QB, skill positions.

Concerns: Lack of experience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: First-year coach Ryan Nolan will try to duplicate the successes that landed Danvers in the 2016 Division 2A North semis. Senior RB/DB Colby Holland, a three-time state champion wrestler, looks to bounce back after being hampered by an ankle injury last year. QB Justin Mullany has impressed with his arm this offseason, and has senior TE Zack Dillon as his top target. Said Nolan, ‘‘Dillon is a strong, smart, physical player on both sides, and is a leader by example.’’ Dillon and RB Tahg Coakley are the Falcons’ only returning starters.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Winthrop

Dartmouth

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Richard White (14th season). Career: Career: 99-44-3.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Balanced offense, dual-threat quarterback

Concerns: Inexperience on defense

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Indians move down to Division 4 this year, where they will no longer have to deal with high-powered Duxbury or a dangerous North Attleboro team that knocked them out of them state tournament last year. But Richard White ensured his team will face elite competition by scheduling Division 1 powers Central Catholic, Attleboro, and Rhode Island’s La Salle Acadmey. Senior Nate Ellis will bring a healthy dose of athleticism to the quarterback position after playing wide receiver last year and Kyle Sullivan anchors a stout defensive line.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Central Catholic

Dedham

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: David Flynn (7th season). Career: 33-88.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Experience, depth, new league.

Concerns: New league.

Offense: Pistol

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: As Dedham transitions to the Tri-Valley League Small after a long run in the Bay State Conference, and independent status, coach David Flynn has handed the ball to junior Ryan Flaherty to direct the Pistol attack. Juniors Tyler Martel, Nijal Hill, P.J. Devirgilio, and Cleevans Labathe will all get touches in the backfield. Seniors linebackers Tom McMillan and Ryan Malone are rugged defenders.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Medfield

Dennis-Yarmouth

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Paul Funk (17th season). Career: 107-55-1.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Senior leadership, offensive line.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Dolphins will return many of their starters from last season, now in their senior year. In particular, four of the five starting offensive lineman will be back -- Sam Kenny, Sawyer McDonald, Brett Halloran, and Mitchell Hayes. The line will protect second-year starting quarterback Jacob McCarthy. Coach Paul Funk says that McCarthy is ‘‘a smart kid who runs the offense well and is a good leader.’’ In the backfield, seniors Jonah Arsenault and Rob Evans are back from last season and will be vital to the traditional spread offense which Dennis-Yarmouth runs. On defense, the secondary features seniors Brandon Dunn and Daryan Thompson as returning starters. Depth presents a major issue for D-Y as the Dolphins’ season would take a huge blow if injuries begin to mount.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., vs. Barnstable

Dighton-Rehoboth

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Dave Moura (1st season). Career: 1st season as head coach.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Senior leadership

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: For the first time in 36 seasons, Dave Driscoll will not patrol the sidelines for Dighton-Rehoboth. His replacement, however, is no football neophyte, as Dave Moura takes over after 13 years as an assistant at D-R, seven at UMass Dartmouth, and three at his alma mater, Dartmouth High. The Eagles offense will be led by third-year starting quarterback Steven Silvia, who Moura describes as ‘‘a tremendous leader with a strong arm that runs the ball well and can do pretty much anything we ask of him.’’ When asked about taking over as head coach, Moura added, ‘‘Dave Driscoll put D-R football on the map and these are big shoes to fill. It’s exciting, and I hope I can continue the tradition that he established.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Lincoln-Sudbury

Diman

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Steve Winarski (2nd season). Career: Career: 70-20-3 (62-17-3 at Durfee)..

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Returning players, experience

Concerns: Injuries, depth

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After going 8-3 last season, the Bengals could be a top team in the MAC Vocational Large with a roster boasting 18 seniors, including scat back Jacob Swenson, who will return after breaking his leg last season. Head coach Steve Winarski said Swenson will also be a key on defense. Senior quarterback Justin Brodeur takes over under center, with an ability to make adjustments at the line. A senior-laden line will pave the way, including 6-foot-5-inch, 270-pound Andrew Benson. On defense, Winarski expects Benson to have an impact at end with a mix of speed and power. Winarski is looking for his team to win its first game and build on that to go for a second straight league title and get past the second round of the playoffs.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. West Bridgewater

Dover-Sherborn

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Stephen Ryan (1st season). Career: 9-2 record (2004 season at D-S).

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Defensively ready to hit, Backfield

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After guiding D-S to the Division 3 baseball final last spring, Steve Ryan is back at the helm of the football program for the first time since the 2004 season. He has Wellesley legend Andy Levin alongside as his offensive coordinator and senior captain Holden Ferrari to run the Wing-T. Co-captain Matt Strong and juniors Tim Polk and Tylan Mendesare the lead back. Captains Nick Novitch and Joe Bulotsky spearhead the D at linebacker. Senior Christian Taylor and junior Jamie Wirth are the leaders on the defensive front.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Weston

Dracut

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Jason Rivers (4th season). Career: 8-24.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Perimeter skill players, secondary

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Read option

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With the amount of MIAA teams running a spread-oriented option attack these days, it’s easy to forget that Dracut was one of its foremost pioneers in the Bay State nearly a decade and half ago. From Pat Murphy to Jeff Moore and Jason Houston, every coach has put their own signature on it; Rivers’s twist has been a more downhill running approach. And with the 205-pound Allyn French, a scholarship lacrosse prospect with requisite between-the-tackles toughness, Rivers has a great catalyst. On the perimeter, 6-foot targets Nik Carter and Joey Petka could create size mismatches for quarterback Cam McCullough to exploit, clearing runways for 5-foot-5 speedster Nemisis Lopez to do what he does best -- burn. ‘‘He’s very quick, he’s got some shake to him, that’s for sure,’’ Rivers said. ‘‘He’s a playmaker for us, he’s pretty good with the ball in his hand.’’ In the trenches, junior Will Peters should be a load on either side of the line, both as McCullough’s blind side and an edge-rusher. That should serve a nice compliment to a sound back seven, led by French and Josh Salem at linebacker, Petka and Carter at the safety spots, and Brian Talbot at corner.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Westford

Durfee

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Taylor Brown (4th season). Career: 13-20.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Strong nucleus of returning players.

Concerns: Depth at offensive and defensive lines.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After consecutive 4-7 finishes, the Durfee program improved to a 5-6 record last season in coach Taylor Brown’s third season at the helm. The Hilltoppers find themselves in another competitive Big 3 race but Brown feels the group he has is ready for the challenge. ‘‘It will be important for this team to get off to a good start,’’ Brown said. ‘‘The last few years we have finished strong, this year we will look to start strong and to finish even stronger.’’ Quarterback Latrell Canto returns at quarterback as a junior while linebacker Lucas Roque anchors the defense coming off from a 100-plus tackle season last year.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Somerset Berkley

Duxbury

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Dave Maimaron (13th season). Career: 129-36..

Last year’s record: 11-1

Strengths: Team work ethic, OL.

Concerns: Defensive backs.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Record-breaking All-Scholastic QB Bobby Maimaron will be missed after leading Division 2 with 33 touchdown passes last year. But 14 starters return from last year’s D2 Super Bowl champions, including three top receivers in John Roberts, Jack Jacobson, and James Miele, who was fourth in D2 with 10 touchdowns in 2016. Senior captain LBs Joe Gooley and Brad Backlund should lock down the middle of the defense, while offensive linemen Quinn Murphy (6-5, 316) and Chris Chaisson (6-5, 270) return to protect new QB John Roberts.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Bridgewater-Raynham

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East Boston

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: John Parziale (8th season). Career: Career: 42-32.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Depth

Concerns: Finding a quarterback

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Jets return senior running back Brandon Ortega, who figures to be a critical component in an offense that must replace running back Joel Pastrana and quarterback Jeff Benzan. Fellow senior Javier Arruda could be in line for more carries, and junior wideout Kasey Vasquez will give the team an outside threat. ‘‘We have some holes, our biggest one is we need to find a quarterback,’’ said head coach John Parziale. Parziale said that while finding a quarterback is his team’s top priority, he also has some concerns about filling out his offensive line. Seniors David Capone and Anthony Macias will be relied upon to provide veteran leadership in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., at New Mission

East Bridgewater

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Shawn Tarpey (13th season). Career: 90-54-1.

Last year’s record: 11-2; defending D3A champion

Strengths: Work ethic, skill positions

Concerns: New faces on defense

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Off the program’s first Super Bowl crown since 1990, and derailing previously-unbeaten St. Mary’s, 34-8, the Vikings have two performers back that played pivotal roles in the state final. Junior Liam LeVangie (two TD passes) returns at quarterback and senior co-captain captain Joey Donahue, who scooped up four fumbles, returning two for scores, is back at linebacker. Donahue and fellow captain Eric Duhamel will also team up in the backfield. Classmate Ben Ross will be split out wide and Evan Dyer will also receive playing time for the Vikings.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Abington

Essex Tech

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Dan Connors (1st season). Career: Career: 0-0..

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Veteran running backs, defensive depth

Concerns: Inexperience

Offense: Pistol

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Dan Connors, a former team captain at Everett High (2002), moves up to head coach after serving the program as an assistant coach for eight seasons, most recently as offensive coordinator. The Hawks return a pair of backs, senior captain Alec Bolstad and junior Manny Alves, both of whom will lead the offense as it breaks in sophomore quarterback Nick Sauvageau. ‘‘He is a North/South, punishing power back,’’ Connors said of Bolstad. ‘‘Manny is the same guy, but they’re basically a 1-2 punch. You’ll see them splitting carries.’’ A veteran front eight should power the Hawks’ defense, but junior cornerback Hunter Lane will lead what Connors called a ‘‘talented group, but an inexperienced group’’ in the secondary.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Ipswich

Everett

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: John DiBiaso (36th season). Career: 291-78.

Last year’s record: 10-2

Strengths: Secondary, two-way talent.

Concerns: Lack of experience at QB.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Could Everett possibly be better in 2017 than it was last year, when coach John DiBiaso collected his 11th Super Bowl ring in a dominant win over Xaverian? Doubtful. But the fact that it’s a possibility after losing an all-time senior class to graduation should scare the entirety of Division 1. Off to UConn is quarterback Jordan McAfee; in is junior Jake Willcox. Any growing pains Willcox may have should be mitigated by a loaded wide receiver core of Anthony Norcia, Jason Maitre, and Mike Sainristil. The latter doubles as one of the state’s best cornerbacks and will be joined in the secondary by safety Lewis Cine, a dynamic junior who has received offers from a host of major FBS schools. Said DiBiaso, ‘‘The great thing about Lewis is that it’s very hard to hit a home run against us because he’s back there.’’ Something else to watch for: if all goes according to plan, DiBiaso could procure his 300th career win at Everett come playoff time.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 3 p.m., vs. Xaverian

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Fairhaven

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Rudy Bulgar (8th season). Career: 23-50.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Offensive line

Concerns: Inexperienced defense

Offense: Power I

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: In his eighth season on the Blue Devil sideline, Rudy Bulgar sees promise for his squad in the South Coast Small. Junior Brady Bennett takes over at QB after seeing action on defense last fall. Jacob Cadieux, a 5-10, 190-pound senior, is the lead runner. Junior Zac Guillotte (6-foot, 200) provides power at fullback and nose guard. Senior Chance Negalha anchors the second level at linebacker.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Greater New Bedford

Falmouth

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Derek Almeida (4th season). Career: Career: 25-10.

Last year’s record: 13-0 (Division 2A Champion)

Strengths: Team speed; run game.

Concerns: Experience

Offense: Triple option

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The reigning Division 2A Super Bowl champion is minus nearly all of its starters, on both sides of the ball, from last fall. Graduation claimed the entire offensive line, receivers and starting QB Nick Couhig. However, senior backs Sam Koss and Gates Kelleher return. In the preseason, sophomore quarterback Kyle Connolly has emerged as the front-runner for the starting job. Defensively, Kelleher is a three-year starter at inside linebacker, and in the opinion of coach Derek Almeida, one of the best in the state. Junior Kyle Cardoza is athletic enough to play inside or at defensive end. Expectations are high for Almeida and Co.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Bishop Feehan

Foxborough

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Jack Martinelli (36th season). Career: Career: 261-109-5.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Experience with 35 seniors

Concerns: Offensive Line

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Coach Jack Martinelli believes the 2017 Warriors will ‘‘personify old-school Foxborough football.’’ With 35 seniors, including 14 returning starters, the Warriors are hoping to bounce back from a 5-6 finish. Leading rusher Anthony Capachietti headlines a group of three backs returning for their senior season. At quarterback, senior Devin Hassett and junior Liam Foley had impressive preseasons. Foley is a pocket quarterback with a strong arm while Hassett presents a mobile threat. Martinelli is considering give both quarterbacks snaps in games, a system the 36-year coach has run before. The offensive line, though, is a question. Though four starters return from last year’s unit, the group remains young and still has a lot to prove.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Hingham

Framingham

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Ed Mantie (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 1-10

Strengths: Depth at linebacker.

Concerns: Skill positions.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With only three wins in the past two seasons, there’s no direction but up for the Flyers in 2017. Says first-year coach Ed Mantie, ‘‘Any time you take over a brand new football team, you’re kind of starting from scratch. There’s been a big learning curve but I’m very excited with how the kids have bought into what we’re doing.’’ Though the system is new, Mantie has plenty of players capable of executing. Framingham will bat around the idea of using two quarterbacks, and the Flyers have at least three running backs who will see time in the backfield. Junior lineman Chidi Nna - a third-down specialist in 2016 - will be a key on both sides of the ball and has an enticing combo of long arms and quick feet. Framingham may struggle slowing opposing pass games, but if their front seven plays to its capability, it may not matter. Said Mantie of his fresh faced group, ‘‘We’re not going to do a lot, we’re just going to do it really well.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., vs. Norwood

Franklin

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Eian Bain (2nd season). Career: 2-9.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: High football IQ, talent at quarterback.

Concerns: Depth up front.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: It’s year two for Eian Bain as head coach of the Panthers and many strides have been made following last year’s 2-9 campaign. ‘‘Our football IQ has grown dramatically,’’ Bain said. ‘‘These kids know what we’re looking for.’’ Name among them, 6-5 senior quarterback and baseball talent Jake Noviello has the talent to play on Saturdays if he desires, according to Bain. Running an offensive scheme that includes audibles at the line of scrimmage, Noviello will need to be in top form. He’ll be aided by a defense that boasts a handful of versatile defensive backs. Juniors Nolan McLaney and Ryan Driscoll started every game as sophomores, the former quarterbacking the defense as a roaming safety. ‘‘What we look for is versatility,’’ said Bain. ‘‘Our safeties need to be in the top four (on the team) in tackles and they also need to be terrific in pass defense. Nolan is a kid that does everything for us.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Stoughton

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Georgetown

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Eric McCarthy (3rd season). Career: Career: 7-14.

Last year’s record: 6-4

Strengths: Skill positions

Concerns: Young offensive line

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Coach Eric McCarthy has the Royals poised for success this season. Senior quarterback Tommy Long is back to lead the offense and his receiving corps features classmate Jimmy Sherman and talented junior Hunter Lane. Also in the fold is senior running back Mark Mansfield, who McCarthy calls ‘‘a very athletic and very strong’’ presence in the backfield. But where skill positions are a strength, the offensive line remains a work in progress. ‘‘We have a lot of youth and inexperience,’’ McCarthy said of the unit, pointing out that his team had to replace four starters. But McCarthy feels good about his offense as a whole and believes his team will be strong. ‘‘We’re looking to take the next step as a program,’’ he said.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Tech Boston

Gloucester

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Tony Zerilli (7th season). Career: Career: 35-31.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Skill positions

Concerns: Inexperience on offensive line

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After the program’s two most successful seasons of the Tony Zerilli era in 2015-16, some may wonder if it’s time to temper expectations given the lack of varsity experience (one returning starter) in the trenches. Of course, the Fishermen had just one returning starting lineman on teams that went 9-2 and 8-3 the last two seasons, so this isn’t exactly a new dilemma for Zerilli. It’ll be tough to replace all-time leading rusher Christian Sanfilippo in the backfield, but quarterback Matt Smith, wingback Marc Smith, tailback Jan Pena-Ortiz, and fullback Ryan Argentino round out the four-pronged rushing attack. ‘‘Our backfield can actually squat and clean more than our line at this point,’’ Zerilli said. You might see Gloucester throw the ball more this year with a few added ripples to take advantage of the Smith brothers’ ability in space. Defensively, versatile linebackers Pena-Ortiz and Ollie Emerson lead the way against the run or pass.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Revere

Greater Lawrence

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Tony Sarkis (12th season). Career: Career: 85-57.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Offensive continuity

Concerns: Youth

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Greater Lawrence returns three fifths of its starting offensive line in juniors Giovanni Covino, Michelette Vargas and senior Malib Pastrana, a CAC all-star last season. Another key will be fellow senior all-star David White, who will be shooting through gaps on both sides of the ball as a running back and linebacker. On offense, quarterback Kyle Vasconcellos graduated, so the Reggies might turn to junior Jose Caceres to fill the void. With just six returning starters overall, coach Tony Sarkis will have to plug any holes with new blood, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Swampscott

Greater Lowell

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Shane Abrams (6th season). Career: Career: 15-40..

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Depth at skill positions

Concerns: Experience on offensive line

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After sinking to a 2-9 record last fall, Greater Lowell attempts to bounce back with a plethora of playmakers. ‘‘We’re two deep at receiver, quarterback, running back, and they’re all solid high school football players,’’ said coach Shane Abrams. Dual-threat junior QB Jake Newell will target senior wideout R.J. Sawtelle, while senior Adonis Ngin leads the backfield. There are question marks up front, though, where Greater Lowell returns only one starting offensive lineman. ‘‘We were kind of senior heavy last year and are kind of filling in the gaps with some new guys,’’ said Abrams.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Lowell Catholic

Greater New Bedford

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Chuck Allaire (11th season). Career: 58-67.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Athleticism, positive attitude

Concerns: Inexperience

Offense: Split back veer

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Bears are inexperienced at key positions, but are coming off a good camp, with a good scheme for coach Chuck Allaire’s 11th campaign. A scrimmage against Falmouth was valuable, clearly defining for Allaire and his staff team needs and perspective. Senior Thiago Palma is making the switch to quarterback, from cornerback, to direct the split-back veer option. He will have a weapon in sophomore, a 5-foot-6 back who shined the preseason. Junior center Noah Saunders returns at the point of attack. Defensively, senior linebacker Mitchell Butler led the squad in tackles last season. Classmate Diogo Jesus is another dependable defensive player.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Fairhaven

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Hamilton-Wenham

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Jim Pugh (2nd season). Career: Career: 185-113 overall; 7-4 at Hamilton-Wenham..

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Experience, passing game

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After a 3-8 finish two years ago, the Generals’ fortunes reversed a year ago, when Jim Pugh directed H-W to a 7-4 mark in his first season. Now the pieces could be in place for the Generals to build on last season’s success, starting with quarterback Bill Whelan, who poses a threat for opposing defenses. ‘‘He’s smart, can run the ball, can throw the ball. He’s the total package,’’ said Pugh. Whelan has a top target in senior Jake Lanciana (37 receptions in 2016) and has the support of fullback Phil Durgin and tailback Anthony Riccio. ‘‘He had a great year last year and was our leading ball carrier,’’ Pugh said of Riccio. ‘‘With that year under his belt we’re expecting big things. He’s a playmaker.’’ Pugh reserved special praise for Durgin, whom the 28th-year coach called ‘‘one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached. Phil’s one of the hardest workers in the weight room, on the practice field, a very good leader, a long snapper. He does it all, too.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m., at Bishop Fenwick

Hanover

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Christopher Landolfi (5th season). Career: 33-13.

Last year’s record: 12-0 (Division 3 champion)

Strengths: Conditioning; Work ethic

Concerns: Team chemistry

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The reigning Division 3 state champion Indians graduated 19 of their 22 starters from a year ago, headlined by two-way line stalwart Patrick Flynn, the Globe’s D3 Player of the Year now at New Hampshire. But the Indians are embracing a next-man-up mentality when it comes to personnel. The returnees include senior QB Andrew Carroll, who will be working behind a rebuilt offensive line. Defensively, senior linebacker Liam Flynn and end Chris Greene are leaders on and off the field. The core group is comprised of seniors who, as juniors last season, received valuable experience during Hanover’s postseason run.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Cardinal Spellman

Haverhill

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: Tim O’Connor (8th season). Career: 42-35.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Offensive line.

Concerns: Inexperience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: 2016 was a dream season for the Hillies and Globe D1 Coach of the Year Tim O’Connor. But after losing to Everett in the first round of the playoffs, the realization that much of that year’s talent would soon be graduating started to set in. Now, Haverhill begins its rebuilding stage. ‘‘We are starting from the ground up with numerous sophomores at key positions,’’ said O’Connor. ‘‘It’s a complete overhaul from the bottom up.’’ One such sophomore, Brandon Grundy, will be a key at defensive end, attacking opposing QBs while helping shore up the Hillies run defense.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m., vs. St. John’s Prep

Hingham

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Chris Arouca (3rd season). Career: 11-11.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Returning starters.

Concerns: OL/DL.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Harbormen veterans will try to build on last year’s winning season. Junior QB Jack Johnson won the pre-season position battle, and will lead an attack using a lot of no-huddle. Senior Marshall Terres will play safety after playing QB last year. Terres, a three-sport captain, can make plays at both the point of attack and the secondary. Senior Nick Beal provides physicality at TE and MLB. Five captains look to improve last season’s 3-2 record in Patriot Keenan play.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Foxborough

Holbrook

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Mark Killinger (1st season). Career: First year.

Last year’s record: 0-9

Strengths: Size and athleticism

Concerns: Inexperience

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Bulldogs were winless last fall and plan on rebuilding with new coach Mark Killinger. ‘‘We want to just build some of our philosophies and hopefully, you know, get them in the W column,’’ said the coach. Senior Davonte Lacy will take over at quarterback. Leading rusher, Jeremiah King, returns after taking last season off. Killinger believes linebackers Rahsai Banks-Lee and Patrick Colas will be key players on defense.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m., vs. South Shore Voc-Tech

Holliston

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Todd Kiley (15th season). Career: Career: 125-37.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Speed and athleticism; Work ethic

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: A perennial power, the Panthers enter the 2017 season as competitive as ever. Up front, junior Scott Elliott is a three-year starter and received an invite to the Army All-American combine. He is receiving interest from D1 college programs. On the perimeter, Holliston has a trio of seniors that are two-way starters: Mikey Nash, Brad Seymour, and Jake Armstrong. At quarterback, senior Ryan Benco, a two-year starter at free safety, takes over for grad Jake Barrett, a former Globe All-Scholastic. Senior Alex Kelley is an anchor at linebacker and is making the transition from the backfield to guard. Depth remains a concern for Panthers, who have dealt with a few injuries in camp, forcing coach Todd Kiley’s squad to take a ‘‘next-man-up approach.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Millis

Hopkinton

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Jim Girard (8th season). Career: Career: 57-42 (46-31 at Hopkinton).

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Skill positions

Concerns: Size on offensive and defensive line

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: While the Hillers run a multiple offense, this year’s strength lies outside with four talented and experienced receivers returning. Junior Luke D’Aloia is back, along with seniors Will Abbott, Mike Ianelli, and Shane Cooney out wide. At tight end, senior captain Matt Lindquist will offer another target for new starting quarterback Ryan Kelleher. Kelleher, a starter towards the end of last season, is a great candidate to run a quick-hitting spread attack considering Girard described the junior signal caller as ‘‘poised, knowledgeable, and not afraid to use his arm strength.’’ This Hopkinton team should be fun to watch.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Wayland

Hull

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Michael O’Donnell (1st season). Career: First year.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Offensive and defensive line

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Pirates welcome coach Mike O’Donnell after 14 seasons under Jack McGrath. Despite graduating many starters, O’Donnell hopes to clinch a spot in the playoffs this year. ‘‘We had a very good offseason, which was one of the goals,’’ he said. Senior Will Nolan and sophomore Trevor MacDonald will compete for the quarterback job. The coach is expecting big seasons from running back Christian Olivieri and junior center Christian Amador.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 4 p.m., at Blue Hills

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Ipswich

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Kevin Fessette (3rd season). Career: 12-10..

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Offensive and defensive lines, senior leadership

Concerns: Consistency on offense

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Ipswich enters the season counting on the 17 seniors scattered on its roster to lift the squad beyond last season’s 6-5 mark. Four of five offensive linemen return, but coach Kevin Fessette hasn’t decided which signal-caller they’ll protect -- three quarterbacks are vying for the starting job. Fessette hopes the veterans help the Tiger offense crank out points on a more regular basis this season. ‘‘Make sure we cut down on the mental errors and utilizing those guys’ experience should help us eliminate those errors and help our consistency,’’ he said.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Essex Tech

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King Philip

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Brian Lee (13th season). Career: 76-14..

Last year’s record: 12-0

Strengths: Returning players at skill positions.

Concerns: Graduated whole offensive and defensive line.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: An undefeated season that included a D1A Super Bowl title at Gillette makes Brian Lee and his King Philip team one of the premier programs in Division 2. ‘‘We expect to compete and work hard,’’ said Lee. ‘‘We are in a really tough league and if you are not ready to play you could be looking at 0-4 real fast. Last year is over and you don’t get any extra points for it.’’ Quarterback Brendan Lydon returns as a senior along with running back Shane Frommer. Wideouts David Morganelli, Aidan Bender, and Thomas Madden will create great speed for the reigning state champions offensively.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. North Attleborough

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Latin Academy

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Rocco Zizza (10th season). Career: Career: 59-38.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Defense

Concerns: Finding a quarterback

Offense: Power I

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Dragons graduated quarterback John Teehan and most of his offensive linemen, and coach Rocco Zizza knows his defense may need to pick his team up this season. ‘‘The defense right now is much further ahead than our offense,’’ he said. ‘‘We have a lot of returning starters on defense.’’ While the team will need to implement some new components to its I-Formation offense, Zizza offered reasons for hope on that side of the ball. ‘‘We’ve got a couple of basketball players that haven’t played before that could put some pressure on defenses,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re raw and inexperienced, but talented.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., vs. Cathedral

Lawrence

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: Mike Yameen (13th season). Career: 38-94.

Last year’s record: 0-11

Strengths: Athleticism and speed.

Concerns: Experience.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Lancers will look to improve on their winless 2016 season as they return numerous upperclassmen, most notably quarterback Ronnie Pena, who underscores the team’s speed and athleticism. And while they are returning plenty of upperclassmen, some will be in magnified roles which will test the team’s depth. Season starts with three out of first four games on the road.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Lowell

Lexington

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: George Peterson (7th season). Career: 32-34.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Depth on the offensive line.

Concerns: Defensive depth and stamina.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: As a junior in 2016, quarterback Sal Frelick threw 31 touchdown passes and ran for 21 more. Now he’s back and surrounded by tons of talent. ‘‘We’re growing together nicely,’’ said coach George Peterson. ‘‘We’ve been able to put a lot of our stuff in early and hit the ground running better than we’d been able to. We have a veteran group. It’s a nice luxury to have.’’ In addition to a slew of offensive line depth, the Minutemen boast two-way talent. Senior running back and safety Ben Quint found the end zone 15 times in 2016. Senior linebacker and wide receiver Jimmy Lane caught two touchdown passes in a scrimmage against Andover while operating as the center of the Lexington defense. The Minutemen return eight starters on both offense and defense.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., vs. Brockton

Lincoln-Sudbury

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: Tom Lopez (40th season). Career: 283-122-4..

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Lineman on both sides of the ball.

Concerns: Inexperience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: A strong sophomore and junior class has the Warriors hopeful for another successful season. Losing a three-year starter like Danny Ryan is never easy to replace but Lopez is confident in his 40th season there is someone who can step up. Harrison Gross at defensive end, 6-foot-3-inch, 265-pound Cal Kenney on the line, and James Dillon at running back and linebacker will play a key role for L-S.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Dighton-Rehoboth

Lowell

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: John Florence (7th season). Career: 35-30.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Skill positions.

Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: John Florence is no stranger to turnover at the quarterback position. Such is the life of a high school football coach. Still, senior quarterback and first-year starter Curtis Gentles will have plenty of weapons at his disposal. Running back Anthony Doung returns, fresh off a 1,000-yard season as the focal point of the Lowell offense. Brendan Tighe showed promise at wide receiver as a freshman in the second half of 2016. If the offensive line can stay healthy, Lowell could easily improve upon last year’s 4-7 record.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Lawrence

Lowell Catholic

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Jason Houston (3rd season). Career: Career: 28-38.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Quarterback, offensive line

Concerns: Other skill positions

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Head coach Jason Houston and returning CCL Small Offensive Player of the Year Austin Wentzel, a senior, have designs on improving upon last year’s 6-5 record. Aiding that effort will be an offensive line featuring five players with varsity starting experience, including Patrick Canney and Owen Kelley, the CCL Small Offensive Lineman of the Year. ‘‘Our skill positions were hit hard by graduation and we will be young and inexperienced, although we have some talent there,’’ Houston said. He added that the team will have to contend with the departure of several key pieces on the defensive line among seven graduated two-way starters.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Greater Lowell

Lynn Classical

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Brian Vaughan (1st season). Career: 44-30.

Last year’s record: 3-7

Strengths: Speed at skill positions.

Concerns: Overall depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Experienced juniors hope to lead a turnaround for the Rams after going 0-5 at home in 2016. QB Keith Ridley will lead an offensive attack based on speed. WR/SS Chase Buono, a returning starter, has playmaking ability on both sides of the ball, and will be Ridley’s most reliable target. RB/DB Dyrell Rucker will take the handoffs, while Dennis Pierce (6-3, 250) will play TE. Pierce will also lead the defense from the nose guard position.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Medford

Lynn English

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Chris Carroll (3rd season). Career: 7-15.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Skill position experience.

Concerns: Depth on both lines.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Hopes are high for the Bulldogs after a disappointing 2016 campaign. Junior QB Matt Severance, a three-year starter and team captain, will lead an experienced offensive attack, with help from senior RB Stravensky Gaston. Gaston is also the defensive leader at LB. Look for two-year, two-way starter Prince Brown to make an impact at both WR and CB as a junior. The team will lean on the offense to improve on last year’s record.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., vs. Beverly

Lynn Tech

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: James Runner (8th season). Career: 30-44.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Experience, depth, senior leadership.

Concerns: Inexperience at defensive line.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Lynn Tech is looking to build off a 2016 campaign which ended in the Division 4 quarterfinals; and with 15 returning starters (eight on offense, seven on defense) they may be in a position to do just that. The Tigers have a run first offense with Steffan Gravely and Keoni Gaskin combining for a dynamic backfield and senior captain Kevin Aguilar anchoring the offensive line. Senior captain Marcus Taylor is the leader on defense where he’ll anchor the secondary. The Tigers will have to start the year with a new quarterback but coach James Runner is confident in junior David Barrios. ‘‘David is a phenomenal athlete. He’s a hurdler for us in track, and he just has the most unbelievable drive,’’ Runner said of Barrios. ‘‘He’s a great athlete but he’s an even better decision maker. We don’t really pass the ball to much but when we do pass he makes me feel good because he’s efficient.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Chelsea/Pope John

Lynnfield

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Neal Weidman (10th season). Career: 70-23..

Last year’s record: 6-4

Strengths: Experience, team speed

Concerns: Getting backups experience

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Pioneers are boosted by a large contingent of seniors with experience, and it is for this reason 10-year coach Neal Weidman enters the season optimistic about the readiness of his group. ‘‘I think we’re ahead of where we were last year just because we were pretty young last year,’’ Weidman said. ‘‘Most of the guys that we thought are the guys that are doing it.’’ Senior Matt Mortellite spent the offseason improving his knowledge of the offense, which should lead to improved quarterback play. ‘‘He didn’t play freshman or sophomore year with us,’’ said Weidman. ‘‘Last year was his first year so he knows the offense much better.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Newburyport

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Madison Park

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Roosevelt Robinson (23rd season). Career: 126-91-1.

Last year’s record: 3-6

Strengths: Leadership.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After a 3-6 season last year Madison Park will try to climb out of the basement of the Boston City League standings. To do that MP will have to find a way to replace the production of quarterback Jordan Pimentel, and running back Stephon Anderson, both of whom graduated last season. The Cardinals scored an average of 11.8 points per game last year while allowing an average of 22.6 per game. Madison Park has a lot of young players so coach Roosevelt Robinson is stressing fundamental football in the early part of the season. If they can get the fundamentals down, look for Madison Park to make a splash in the City League this year.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 15, 4 p.m., vs. O’Bryant

Malden

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: Bill Manchester (2nd season). Career: 5-6.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Athleticism.

Concerns: Inexperience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With no returning starters on offense and only three on defense, coach Bill Manchester and the Golden Tornadoes have their work cut out for them in 2017. Luckily, the roster is stacked with athletes from top to bottom. Senior wide receiver and cornerback Edouard Bazile could be the ticket to Malden’s success. ‘‘He moved up to Malden last summer and established himself as one of the better athletes on the team,’’ said Manchester. ‘‘He’s evolved into a captain and he leads our group of very athletic skill position players.’’ With much of last year’s JV talent being called up to fill in for the swath of graduated starters, Malden can’t afford any injuries if it hopes to turn last year’s 5-6 mark into a winning record. Another change ... With the GBL deceased, Malden will play in Northeastern Conference this fall.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Methuen

Malden Catholic

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Jeff Smith (7th season). Career: 20-45.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Speed/depth at skill positions.

Concerns: Inexperience, lack of OL depth.

Offense: Pro set

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Only six starters return from the 2016 team that was bounced in the first round of the Division 1A playoffs. RB/DL Howie Burns (6-0, 250) will lead a physical attack on both offense and defense. Senior receivers Geoff Ingrando and Brian Ciulla provide experience for junior QB Matt Jandresevits, who transferred in from Peabody. An otherwise young Lancers team will look to avenge four losses against Catholic Conference opponents a year ago.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Tewksbury

Manchester Essex

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Jeff Hutton (3rd season). Career: Career: 11-11.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Experience

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Third-year coach Jeff Hutton thinks his team can outdo last year’s 6-5 mark. ‘‘If we can survive our league, we should be battle tested for the playoffs, if we can get in,’’ he said. Working against them will be the limitations of being a smaller school, with the Hutton citing a turnout of just 30 players this season. One of those athletes will need to fill the Hornets’ quarterback vacancy. However, the team does return its entire backfield and offensive line, and those two units will stabilize the offense as it integrates a new quarterback.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m., at Northeast

Mansfield

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Mike Redding (30th season). Career: 236-80-4.

Last year’s record: 8-2

Strengths: Skill players returning.

Concerns: Inexperience on offensive and defensive lines.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: A loss to Marshfield in the playoffs last year ended what was a promising season for the Hornets. With 12 starters returning from that team, Redding believes this team could be a tough out in the new aligned Division 2. ‘‘Preseason has been very good so far with a great work ethic so we are excited about the season,’’ said Redding. Joe Cox (RB/OLB) and Hunter Ferreira (WR/OLB) both return as three-year starters. Even with an inexperienced line on both sides of the ball, senior Will Shield (6-foot-2, 275 pounds) and junior Colbey Eason (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) should be solid up front.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Walpole

Marblehead

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Jim Rudloff (9th season). Career: Career: 70-21.

Last year’s record: 10-1

Strengths: Experience on offensive and defensive line

Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback and running back

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: As the Magicians look to defend their North sectional title and return to Gillette Stadium for a second straight season, there interesting battles to watch at tailback and quarterback. Derek Testa and Devin Romain both figure to get plenty of carries despite their noticeably different physiques. Under center, it’s a three-man race with familiar lineage between junior Chris Gally (brother of last year’s starter, Drew), senior Danny Doherty, and senior Dewey Millett (brother of Magician greats Bo and Will). Whoever starts will have the luxury of an experienced line and some impressive targets, including 6-foot-6-inch, 250-pound senior tight end Andy Clough, a converted offensive lineman who has picked up Division 1 interest. ‘‘He’s a big boy and a gigantic target,’’ coach Jim Rudloff said. ‘‘It’s hard to defend a spread offense moving around someone like Andy.’’ Defensively, the Magicians will be led by Aidan Gillis, who Rudloff calls ‘‘probably the best middle linebacker in the state.’’ Gillis will receive help from outside linebacker Teddy Mayle, safety Derek Marino, and Will Bosworth off the edge.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Triton

Marian

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Harry Lesage (2nd season). Career: 9-12.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Experience, skill positions.

Concerns: Defense, tackling.

Offense: Triple option

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With seven starters returning, including at quarterback, running back, and receiver, the Mustangs are poised to have a potent offensive attack. Quarterback Emmanuel Capellan, running back Miguel Perez, and receivers Jose Morales and DeShawn Lopez are all back this season. While the Mustang offense is full of experience, the defense will have a lot of new faces. According to coach Harry LaSage the defense preformed well in the team’s first scrimmage, but tackling is an area that needs improvement. One goal is to work better as a team. ‘‘The kids realized that working together as a team is how we’re going to have a successful season.’’ LaSage said.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 4 p.m., at Tri-County

Marshfield

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Lou Silva (37th season). Career: 236-144-7.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Veteran team.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Time will tell if Lou Silva’s 37th season at the helm of the Rams is his final. With the talent returning Marshfield most certainty has a chance to send the legendary coach out on top. An All-Scholastic as a junior last season, running back and safety Jack McNeil is back from having rushed for 21 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards in 2016, and notching 74 tackles. Jackson Phinney is under center again having started every game for the Rams as a sophomore and his younger brother Casey Phinney is a breakout player to watch defensively at middle linebacker. ‘‘First goal is to win the league,’’ Silva said. ‘‘Then, have a good showing in the playoffs and see what we are made of.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Cranston West (R.I.)

Martha’s Vineyard

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Ryan Kent (1st season). Career: 0-0..

Last year’s record: 1-10

Strengths: Experienced returnees

Concerns: Youth and low numbers

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: First-year head coach Ryan Kent welcomed just 40 players to camp on the island. But in last year’s one-win season plagued by injuries, a number of young players received playing time. And that has resulted in experienced players returning in the backfield and at linebacker. Senior Zach Moreis is back to direct the spread offense. Classmate John Morris and junior John McCormick are the lead backs, as well as contributing on defense. Senior Connor Bettencourt and sophomore Andres Garcia provide the muscle at the line of scrimmage. Kent, an assistant at MV a year ago, played on the 2000 Bellingham High squad that defeated the Vineyard in the Super Bowl.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., vs. Carver

Masconomet

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: Gavin Monagle (3rd season). Career: Career 69-66-2 (10-12 at Masco)..

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Tremendous group of players. Experienced line, receivers, and defense.

Concerns: A challenging schedule that begins with Melrose and ends with Everett.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Even with a difficult schedule, Monagle feels between the league and the experiences of playing Billerica, Tewksbury, and Waltham in the playoffs last year, the Chieftains are prepared for the new alignment in Division 2 and the challenges ahead. ‘‘Our biggest goal is to keep improving. Our league is very competitive, and four teams have won a piece of the title in the past two seasons,’’ Monagle said.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Melrose

Mashpee

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Matt Triveri (13th season). Career: Career: 105-33.

Last year’s record: 12-1

Strengths: Offensive line, returning starters

Concerns: Injuries, depth

Offense: Pro set

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Falcons will take to the field after winning their second straight Super Bowl last season. Junior Devaun Ford (26 touchdowns) will take over duties as the full-time tailback. Coupled with wide receiver Cam Kergo, the duo gives the team to air it out. ‘‘We have a chance to be pretty good,’’ said head coach Matt Triveri. Up front is what he calls his biggest line to date, with seniors John McNamara (6-6, 275), Ian Ahearn (6-1, 225), Roo Garcia (5-11, 290), Toren Burton (6-0, 195), and junior Xavier Gonsalves (6-4, 230). Replacing 4-year QB Nick Carpenter will be key, but the team has full confidence in senior Jake Johnston as his replacement. ‘‘He’s a quiet leader, but they know he’ll fight for them,’’ said Triveri. ‘‘We have complete confidence in him as they do.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Bishop Connolly

Matignon

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Michael Hill (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 1-11

Strengths: Skill positions.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Power I

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With five returning starters on both sides of the ball, Matignon will enter the season with experience at the skill positions. Running back Jayhai Aubri is back in the backfield after leading the team in rushing touchdowns last year. The Warriors also have talented receivers with Pat Macaroni and Connor Lewis both returning. Matignon coach Michael Hill is also excited about first-year receiver John Giannone. Giannone is an explosive athlete with the potential to develop into a deep threat for the Warriors.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 4 p.m., vs. Minuteman

Medfield

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Erik Ormberg (7th season). Career: Career: 28-38.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Senior leadership; Skill positions

Concerns: Linebacker; the graduation of the two leading tacklers.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With the return of several top offensive weapons, the Warriors are shooting to building upon last year’s successful run. Mason Giunta, a three-year starter at running back, has emerged as a vocal leader and a team captain. Junior Mitchell Gonser takes the reins at QB after being featured as a back and receiver last fall. Senior lineman John Lowell, according to coach Erik Ormberg, is ‘‘one of the most durable football players I’ve ever coached.’’ A major concern is at linebacker: last year’s senior unit combined for 55 percent of the team’s total tackles. But Giunta and senior Pat Biles have had promising preseasons at the position.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Dedham

Medford

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: Jason Nascimento (6th season). Career: 10-32..

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Senior leaders.

Concerns: Difficult schedule.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: On a positive note for the Mustangs, they improved their win total by two games last season, despite having to line up against eventual Division 1 Super Bowl champion Everett. This year, playing in the Notheastern Conference, there is even more hope for improvement with a good number of players returning. The loss of Ben Antoine on the offense hurts after the star player finished second in Division 2 with 26 total touchdowns. ‘‘We graduated a lot of experience last year and we will have a lot of young guys that will need to step right in,’’ said Nascimento. ‘‘We have taken a few new approaches to the way we teach it so hopefully it translates.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Lynn Classical

Medway

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Chris Baker (2nd season). Career: 4-7.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Commitment, dedication to program

Concerns: Coaches putting the players in the right positions for them to succeed.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: In his second season as coach, Chris Baker welcomed 70 players to camp with plenty of returning talent to make a run in the Tri-Valley Small. These young men have brought ‘‘a different level of commitment and dedication’’ to this year, according to Baker. He also been impressed with the team’s willingness to buy into the coaches’ messages to succeed. Senior Cam Connolly returns to lead the offense with Derek Pintsopoulos (running back) and Ryan Pepin (receiver) in his arsenal to exploit defenses.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Norton

Melrose

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Tim Morris (24th season). Career: Career: 163-97-4.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Quarterback, experience on offensive and defensive line

Concerns: Inexperience at linebacker and secondary

Offense: Read option

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Red Raiders have yet to settle on Jack Sullivan or Charlie Stanton at quarterback, but coach Tim Morris is encouraged by what he’s seen so far from the two seniors and it’s likely one of the two would slide to another starting position come Week 1. Experienced senior linemen Adam Caffey and Charlie Femino should ease the process regardless of the signal caller. Track star Rey Guiti should do a number at tailback, while fullback Jack Whitley is chomping at the bit after losing half of his 2016 season to an ACL injury. There isn’t much experience returning at receiver, but senior Mike Fennell will be one to watch with his quickness and soft hands. Defensively, Caffey will lead the way at linebacker, while junior safety Kevin Peete is worth keeping an eye on.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Masconomet

Methuen

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: Tom Ryan (5th season). Career: 21-23.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Skill positions.

Concerns: Strength of schedule.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Competing in the Merrimack Valley Conference is tough, but with 11 returning starters including quarterback Jordan Perdomo, hopes are high for the Rangers in 2017. In addition to senior wide receiver David Kelly, coach Tom Ryan touts a running back core ‘‘that can score from anywhere on the field.’’ Linebacker Travis Manick and defensive lineman Bryce Smith head a defense that struggled in 2016, allowing 23.7 points per game. The Rangers open Sept. 8 at Malden.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Malden

Middleborough

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Pat Kingman (7th season). Career: 38-27.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Seniors at the skill positions; strong freshman class

Concerns: Low numbers

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Senior Evan Gwozdz is back for his second season as the starting QB with 1,000-yard rusher Jeremy Soule alongside. The two helped power Middleborough to the South title in the Under Armour 7-on-7 summer league. Coach Pat Kingman preached attention to detail during camp: if the Sachems do the ‘‘first thing first,’’ then they should see similar success to their playoff run last year. Harrison LaPierre and Colin O’Brien are three-year starters as targets on the outside. Senior end Zach Jordan and junior Brandan Hogan spearhead the defense. Senior Sean McCarthy is an asset on both sides of the ball. Seniors Davis Riendeau and Matt Crowley are weapons at receiver.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Apponequet

Milford

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Anthony Vizakis (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Both lines.

Concerns: Lack of experience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After graduating star RB/LB Blake Hill to Yale, a new senior class will be essential to success for the 2017 Scarlet Hawks. QB and captain Matt Curran has been praised as ‘‘a great in-game manager’’ by coach Tony Vizakis. Curran has two big targets in senior WR Kaden Kelly (6-4) and senior TE Tyler Joyce (6-2). Senior captain Patrick Bregoli will start on both lines as a G and DE. The team is counting on younger players to step up and fill gaps in the roster.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., at Scituate

Millis

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Dana Olson (4th season). Career: 25-10.

Last year’s record: 10-3

Strengths: Experience and Speed.

Concerns: Injuries.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The defending Division 4A Super Bowl champs are hoping to stay healthy this year. ‘‘If we stay healthy we will be a competitive team. I know it sounds cliche to say, but without any injuries we will go far,’’ coach Dana Olsen said. Although the Mohawks lost three offensive players for the upcoming season, they are relying on their star quarterback Bryce Latosek and running back Kurt Hopkins to lead the team. Hopkins, who had 1,160 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, will have a powerful role to take the Mohawks once again to the state tournament.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Holliston

Milton

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Steve Dembowski (3rd season). Career: Career: 133-72 (19-5 at Milton).

Last year’s record: 8-4

Strengths: Skill positions

Concerns: Depth on offensive line

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: One of the most innovative football minds in the Bay State, Steve Dembowski has a bevy of weapons at his disposal. Track phenom Smith Charles is back at running back after tallying eight touchdowns on offense, defense, and special teams last year, while senior captain William Crowley and classmate Eddie Hassell lead a dynamic core of receivers. ‘‘I think we’re going to be fine offensively,’’ said Dembowski. ‘‘Defensively, we have holes to fill at all levels, but we look good and fast.’’ After leading the Wildcats into the tournament in each of his first two seasons, Dembowski’s complex and multiple offense should be taking hold in Milton.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Belmont

Minuteman

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Brian Tildsley (10th season). Career: 37-54.

Last year’s record: 0-10

Strengths: Leadership.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After a tough 0-10 season last year, Minuteman will have its hands full replacing productive quarterback Dave Andrade and running back Sam Lackey. Junior running back Ngnor Manyang will be replacing much of the production in the backfield. Junior Darian Casseus is another backfield option. Casseus is elusive out of the backfield but can also be a viable passing option. Minuteman averaged just 11.8 points per game last season. If they can score a few more points this team could add a few tallies to the win column.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 4 p.m., at Matignon/Saint Joseph Prep

Monomoy

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Brandon Perry (1st season). Career: First year.

Last year’s record: 5-5

Strengths: Senior leadership

Concerns: Inexperienced line

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Brandon Perry takes over as head coach of the Sharks this season. The 2002 Old Rochester graduate played running back and defensive back, and played semi-pro in the NEFL. Among the stops for the eight-year coach were Bishop Stang, Upper Cape, and Sturgis as a football and track coach. He inherits a team with 12 seniors already familiar with a run-first system. The coaching staff will also return. ‘‘The senior class has been very helpful with my transition,’’ said Perry. Key players include senior linebacker/fullback Eli Nickerson. A solid tackler, he’ll be making the transition to fullback. Junior quarterback Isaac Hart will step in under center, a mobile pocket-passer that has continued to impress. Perry and his team feel they will be better than the 6-5 record they set as a goal for this season. ‘‘I think there’s an excitement around the program that we haven’t seen in years,’’ said Perry. ‘‘I’m just trying to reinforce that they have to work hard and earn it.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., at Cape Cod Tech

Mystic Valley

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Jason DeMartino (1st season). Career: First year.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Senior talent

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Eagles welcome first-year coach Jason Demartino, and his transition will be eased by the presence of a strong group of seniors. Quarterback Philippe Guerrier will be joined by wide receiver Isaiah Granderso, with Alex Morrisett, in the backfield. ‘‘With our senior leadership and some solid juniors we should be able to produce,’’ DeMartino said. DeMartino thinks his team is up to the challenge of following up last year’s conference title, but added that a lot of young players will need to step up to match that result.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Nashoba Valley Tech

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Natick

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Mark Mortarelli (8th season). Career: 57-22.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Experience.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Red Hawks put together a strong campaign in a tough Bay State Conference last season. With a handful of experience and seniors coming back, Mortarelli is confident that this year will be much of the same. ‘‘We have a lot of guys who understand the system,’’ Mortarelli said. Malik Williams (RB), Christian D’Antonio (QB), Peter Ryan (FS), and Tim Ramstrom (OLB) are the team’s senior captains, anchoring a veteran Natick group.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Needham

Nauset

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Bruce Strunk (1st season). Career: Career: 139-46 at high school level in Maryland.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Skill positions

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Single wing

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Warriors transition from one accomplished coach to the next, as Bruce Strunk replaces former NFL coach Mike Sherman. After a storied career at Howard High in Maryland, Strunk will look to implement a single wing version of a spread attack and expects sophomore Bobby Joy to play both wing and some quarterback within that scheme. Junior Mac LaBarge will also play quarterback and his older brother, J.P., will solidify the defensive line. With only five seniors on the roster, there could be some growing pains, but Strunk is optimistic about the future of his new program.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Coyle & Cassidy

Needham

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: David Duffy (22nd season). Career: 129-84-1.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Overall speed.

Concerns: Lack of experience.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Playing in Division 1 is a challenge for Needham, but coach Duffy is up for the challenge. Once an I-formation team, the Rockets will use a spread in 2017 to fit their speedy personnel. Senior captain Charlie Sumner and junior Charlie Ogletree have spent training camp impressing at the QB position, but a starter has yet to be named. Whoever Duffy chooses, they’ll be in good hands. Senior captain and three-year starter John Andre returns, his quickness a weapon both out of the backfield and split out wide. With junior Matt Smith also in tow, Needham’s passing game could give Bay State rivals headaches. ‘‘The kids showed up in shape and we’re doing well,’’ said Duffy. ‘‘We’re just in a tough league and a tough division. To be the best you have to play the best.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Natick

New Bedford

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Mark DeBrito (4th season). Career: 13-20.

Last year’s record: 1-10

Strengths: Deep at skill positions.

Concerns: Still have some growing up to do.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With only 10 seniors on the roster, the Whalers will be learning heavily on a group of young, talented underclassmen in coach Mark DeBrito’s fourth season. Tru Williams is a returning starter under center and Nigel Palmer, off from an impressive 16 touchdown freshman campaign, is back at running back. Barron Hilton makes the move from tailback last season to wide receiver where he will add an extra threat on the outside. Colby McCoy, a 6-foot-4, 265-pound senior transfer, joins senior captain Edgar Semendo as a veteran presence on the squad. Sophomore lineman Eric Dosenburg (6-4, 265) plugs into the middle on both sides of the ball.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Taunton

New Mission

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Michael Pittman Forman (6th season). Career: 16-33.

Last year’s record: 5-5

Strengths: Defensive and offensive line.

Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback.

Offense: Pistol

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: New Mission is entering the season with 11 returning starters. But with most of the returning experience on the defensive side of the ball, the Titans offense will take some time to get up to speed. New Mission will need to find new starters at quarterback, running back, and receiver. Takaki Hobbs looks to replace the production in the backfield while Dradae’ Montissoi will be a threat on the outside. Andrew Franklin and Tristan Champagne are battling for the starting quarterback position and New Mission coach Michael Pittman-Foreman hasn’t ruled out using both quarterbacks depending on the scheme. Champagne is a more traditional quarterback with good arm strength and accuracy while Franklin, a converted running back, is a better athlete. Defensively, New Mission is more sound with six returning starters. Lineman Chris Marks will be the leader on the defensive side of the ball.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., vs. East Boston

Newburyport

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Ben Smolski (1st season). Career: Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 4-6

Strengths: Senior leadership, quickness, speed

Concerns: Quarterback competition, inexperience

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Alum Ben Smolski (Class of 2002) takes charge of the program after serving as defensive coordinator the past two seasons, last year under Mike Levine (4-6 in one season). Senior captains Myles Maloof, Connor Smith and Matt Donlan will pave the way for the Clippers. But challenges remain on offense as they search for a starting quarterback and break in four first-year starters along the offensive line. ‘‘We’ve got to get a guy who can lead there,’’ Smolski said of the quarterback competition between senior Owen Bradbury and junior Thomas Murphy. The signal-callers will be under the tutelage of first-year offensive coordinator Anthony Callahan, who joins the staff from Saugus. ‘‘He’s really energized the offense,’’ said Smolski.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Lynnfield

Newton North

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Mike Coppola (3rd season). Career: 13-9.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Speed on defense.

Concerns: Offensive line.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With the graduation of Bryce Adam and the transfer of John Grady to Nobles, the Tigers have plenty of work to do if they want to repeat 2016’s successful campaign. It all starts on defense. Senior Nathan Harvey will move from defensive tackle to defensive end so the Tigers can better utilize his speed. Senior Noah Neville - a dynamic, versatile offensive player who coach Mike Coppola said, ‘‘may be one of the best receivers in the state’’ - will start alongside Will Thompson in what figures to be a sturdy pass defense. Whether Coppola and Co. are able to take the next step hinges on an inexperienced offense. In an attempt to take advantage of their speed and mitigate an offensive line starting three sophomores, the Tigers plan to run more no-huddle in 2017. And with Neville in tow, the thought of a fast-paced spread attack should put fear into the hearts of opponents. Said Coppola of his standout, ‘‘He’s going to be our number one guy.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Waltham

Newton South

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: Ted Dalicandro (12th season). Career: 35-86..

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Skill positions.

Concerns: Depth and experience.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Being bumped up to Division 1 last year, along with losing a number of key role players, was a bad recipe for a Newton South football team that won only two games. This year the Lions move to Division 2 and the Dual County League Small, a much better fit. Senior wideouts Lucas Lopes and Lejaun Pope return as threats in the passing game. ‘‘Offensively we could be explosive if we can get the ball into our athletes hands in space,’’ said Dalicandro.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2:30 p.m., vs. Winchester

North Andover

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: John Dubzinski (3rd season). Career: 33-33 overall. 10-12 at NA..

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Skill positions and kicking game.

Concerns: Depth at offensive and defensive line.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Scarlet Knights are returning 10 starters from last year across the board and in Dubzinkski’s third season with the reigns they are looking to raise the bar. Junior quarterback Jake McElroy returns with fellow classmate Darren Watson and senior Chikeziri Ogwuru behind him in the backfield. ‘‘We are setting high goals like winning the MVC and winning games in the playoffs,’’ said Dubzinski. ‘‘But in order to do that we need to put our big boy pants on and embrace the commitment it takes to be a good football team.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Woburn

North Attleborough

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Don Johnson (9th season). Career: 57-19.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Offense, versatility.

Concerns: Inexperience on defense.

Offense: Shotgun

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: QB Chad Peterson returns after throwing 20 touchdowns and leading last year’s team to the Division 2 South final. Split ends Mario Bresko (6-4) and Omar Jasseh join the elusive Ryan Gaumond to form a balanced receiving corps. Senior captain RB/MLB Zach DeMattio is a physical force on both sides of the ball. The Red Rockets are talented, but inexperienced with only six returning starters. ‘‘The main concern is how long it will take for players to settle into their new roles,’’ said coach Don Johnson.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at King Philip

North Quincy

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Mark Nutley (5th season). Career: Career: 8-26.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Experience at skill positions

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: In order to get the most out of an experienced group of skill players, Nutley plans to implement a spread attack more often on offense this year. Running back Win Tran returns after missing much of last season with a shoulder injury and will work in tandem with junior Nate Sleiman out of the backfield. Tim Layden is back under center after a promising sophomore campaign and the Red Raiders have a breakout candidate in 220-pound junior tight end Nelson Walinjom.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Silver Lake

North Reading

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Jeff Wall (15th season). Career: Career: 73-74.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Talent at skill positions.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After coming one win away from punching their first ticket to Gillette Stadium for a state title, the Hornets return 12 starters -- including seven on defense -- making us wonder if they can make another deep run through the North and beyond. Quarterback Kyle Bythrow, a second team All-Cape Ann selection in 2016, is back under center and should be a load to handle with his physicality when the option calls for him to go inside. When he goes to the air, keep an eye on junior Mike Mikula, who’s adept at high-pointing deep throws, as well as brothers Jake and Josh Bedell. Defensively there’s a lot to like with what’s returning, especially in the back seven with senior linebackers Ryan Edison and Jack DeAngelo, and physical Cover-3 cornerback Kyle Conley.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., at Brighton

Northeast

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Don Heres (12th season). Career: Career: 75-51..

Last year’s record: 10-3

Strengths: Backfield depth

Concerns: Inexperience at skill positions

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: A successful season for the Golden Knights hinges on whether a group of talented athletes overcome their collective inexperience. ‘‘We have people who can be good, but you’ve got to remember there’s inexperience there, too,’’ said coach Don Heres, who lauded the potential of his five-man backfield. But if they’re going to battle past the mistakes that are a byproduct of inexperience, the Golden Knights need a group of leaders to rally the team. ‘‘I have to focus on leadership,’’ said Heres. ‘‘If we’re going to be successful it’s going to be because of 11 people, not because of who returned.’’ Despite breaking in new starters at all skill positions, the Golden Knights have the talent to achieve similar offensive production to last season when they averaged 30.5 points per game. ‘‘Our key is to be very disciplined,’’ said Heres. ‘‘If they do all that stuff, we have the ability to put points on the board.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m., vs. Manchester Essex

Norton

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Tim McCarthy (4th season). Career: Career: 17-16.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Team defense; Depth at running back

Concerns: Offensive line experience

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Senior captains JP Hynes (linebacker) and McKinley Kearsley (defensive back) headline a defensive unit that returns eight of 11 starters. On the offense, junior quarterback Tyler Elliott enters his second year as a starter and has exhibited versatility in the running and passing game. When the Lancers are not punishing foes on the ground, Kearsley will be the primary target in the air. Seniors Connor Reynolds and Mike McNichols form a 1-2 punch in the backfield with freshman Nate Sicard has made the case for playing time. Sophomore Ayinde Williams is another option at fullback. Coach Tim McCarthy recognizes his team has ‘‘plenty of talent’’ and is ‘‘hoping it develops quickly.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Medway

Norwell

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Jim Connor (5th season). Career: 25-18.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Depth, talent

Concerns: Inexperienced starters

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Despite the departure of 17 seniors from an 8-3 squad, the Clippers have caught up quickly in the preseason are confident for the upcoming season. Coach Jim Connor has leaned on the good listeners who waited their turn and are now ready to turn it loose. Junior Cal Smith leads the Wing-T offense. Senior Bryce Griffin is a two-way threat at running back and linebacker. Junior Ben Bostrom will also see time in the backfield while senior Ethan Robbins will be split out wide. Classmate Colin Orleman starts at tight end and Chris Dwan is a force on the line.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., at Amesbury

Norwood

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Jim Tighe (4th season). Career: Career: 11-22.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Special teams

Concerns: Experience

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After a disappointing 2016 campaign, Norwood will continue rebuilding with only 12 seniors on the roster. Leading that group is captain and tight end Colin Plasko, who will work with classmates Chris Sheehan and Matt Rice to bolster a young offensive line. Inside linebackers Abdallah Khalil and Jake Smelstor highlight a promising junior class that includes standout kicker Jay Wladkowksi, an athletic special teams maven who Tighe hopes will give the Mustangs an advantage in that phase of the game.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., at Framingham

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O’Bryant

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Kevin Gadson (10th season). Career: Career: 65-31.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Cohesion

Concerns: Replacing graduated seniors

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Despite a dominant 9-2 season last year, head coach Kevin Gadson speaks humbly of this year’s team. ‘‘We had some really good people who stood out,’’ he said of last season’s roster. ‘‘Our work is cut out for us because we gotta find a way to replace them.’’ Senior Jardel Fernandes is expected to be a force on both sides of the line for the Tigers. ‘‘We’re looking for some big things from him in terms of being a leader,’’ Gadson said. On offense, Gadson also highlighted Amarj Alexander, a lightning-quick track star who will be used all over the field, and junior Emmanuel Exilhomme.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., at Boston English

Old Colony

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Brandon Mendez (3rd season). Career: 13-10.

Last year’s record: 6-6

Strengths: Seven returning starters.

Concerns: Quarterback and offensive line.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Cougars graduated their entire offensive line but do add new young talent to the roster. Sophomores Kyle School and Matt Bumpus will battle to earn the quarterback position. Senior Jarred Gagne, who rushed for 750 yards last year, is expected to have a huge impact again for the Cougars. ‘‘We are going to be competitive,’’ coach Brandon Mendez said. ‘‘Give it a run on the league and try to be a tough team.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., vs. Sacred Heart

Old Rochester

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Justin Kogler (3rd season). Career: 34-21.

Last year’s record: 9-3

Strengths: Defensive progression, team Speed, returners up front

Concerns: Inexperience at skill positions

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The team’s leading rusher as a sophomore and junior, Harry Smith is four touchdowns and 400 yards shy of the program’s career records. The senior will be teamed up in the backfield with Will Garcia and junior receivers Anthony Childs and Matt Brogioli to power the spread attack. Seniors Emo Schiappa (6-3, 300) and Zach Kelley (5-10, 250) are three-year starters at the point of attack for a 9-3 squad that advanced to the D3 South quarterfinals.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Wareham

Oliver Ames

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Mike Holland (3rd season). Career: 4-18.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Backfield, linebackers.

Concerns: Inexperience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Coach Mike Holland expects his team’s hard-working attitude to help it bounce back after two straight 2-9 seasons. Senior QB Curtis Cann will take the reigns after spending three years on the bench, and has impressed coaches with his work ethic. Senior LB/FB Jay Fruci is a team leader on offense and defense, and will attempt to fill the void left by graduated RB Liston Funai, the team’s only Hockomock All-Star a season ago. Senior T/DE Jack Mills had 30 tackles last season, including four for a loss.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Bedford

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Peabody

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: Marc Bettencourt (5th season). Career: 22-22..

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Experience at skill positions.

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Tanners played a devastating schedule last season, finishing 5-6. A positive point differential of +44 and group of returning veteran players means this could be a successful season for coach Matt Bettencourt, in his fifth year on the sidelines. Senior Eric DeMayo (MLB/FB) shines in a talented defense that only gave up 14.5 points per game last season. Noah Freedman (RB) and Sam Mastromatteo (WR) will be difficult to stop on offense as well.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Somerville

Pembroke

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Brian King (3rd season). Career: Career: 30-47 (3-19 at Pembroke).

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Experience

Concerns: Pass defense

Offense: Pistol

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With 17 seniors on the roster and nine starters returning on defense, this tight-knit group has a chance to compete in the tough Patriot League Fisher Division. Senior running backs Nick Lane and Kyle Watts will often flank junior quarterback Jack Kelly when the Titans run the pistol, while all-around athlete Brian Burns will move all over the formation. ‘‘These kids have really put in a lot of work during the offseason with 25 to 30 guys consistently working out since mid-January,’’ coach Brian King said. ‘‘The key for us will simply be staying healthy.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Westwood

Pentucket

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Steve Hayden (36th season). Career: Career: 212-155..

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Cohesion

Concerns: Experience, depth

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: A young Sachems squad will lean on captains Nathan McGrail (WR/DB), Brandon Wilbur (RB/LB) and Ethan Dore (RB/DB) as they attempt to improve on last season’s 5-6 campaign. ‘‘We graduated quite a few,’’ said coach Steve Hayden. ‘‘We’re young, very young, and we’re thin. But hopefully we have a lot of enthusiasm and competitiveness in us.’’ Among the first-year starters is junior quarterback Gus Flaherty. ‘‘I think he’s a very good athlete, and he’s willing to learn,’’ said Hayden. ‘‘He does throw a good ball.’’ The Sachems visit Canton on Sept. 9.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Canton

Plymouth North

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Kevin Cobban (6th season). Career: 31-23.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Both lines.

Concerns: Skill positions.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Returning starters on both the offensive and defensive line will be key for the Eagles. Four starting OL members are back, and will make or break the team’s success. DBs Ty Cole and Ben Andrade lead an experienced secondary. RB/LB Robbie Gomes, the team’s leading rusher last year, is the only returning starter in a skill position role. ‘‘We really need some young kids to step up,’’ said coach Kevin Cobban.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Weymouth

Plymouth South

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Scott Fry (14th season). Career: Career: 68-76-1.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Athleticism

Concerns: Experience in secondary

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With a full year of action under his belt, 6-foot-3-inch senior quarterback Alex Cohen looks to lead the Panthers into the state tournament. First they’ll have to navigate a tough non-conference schedule before heading into Patriot League play, but Fry asserts, ‘‘We feel like we can compete for a league title every year.’’ Plymouth South’s stout defense will be led by senior linebacker Victor Weppert and Jordayn Williams, while Zach Keding and Kevin Disher battle in the trenches.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Whitman-Hanson

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Quincy

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Bill Reardon (10th season). Career: 39-59..

Last year’s record: 0-11

Strengths: Experience.

Concerns: Depth on offensive line.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: ‘‘We are about the work we have put in, and we are a better team than we were last year,’’ said coach Bill Reardon, who will be entering his 10th season for the Presidents. A group of experienced senior captains in Shorn Hawthorne (WR/S) and Dominic Laptiste (WR) will contribute significantly on offense with junior Colin Keaveny slinging the ball to them. Brian Nguyen (RB/LB) and lineman Jamel Williams should be key factors in determining if Quincy can bounce back.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Braintree

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Randolph

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Chris Boswell (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Leadership.

Concerns: Player safety.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Blue Devils welcome new coach Chris Boswell after going 2-9 last fall under Anthony Nalen. Boswell, who served as the defensive coordinator for the Blue Devils since 2013, aims to keep it simple and fundamental for their offense. Defensive linemen Armani Mette and Nathan Blake will have key leadership roles for Randolph this year.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Sharon

Reading

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: John Fiore (14th season). Career: 111-39.

Last year’s record: 8-4

Strengths: Experience, tradition, work ethic, and running game.

Concerns: Inexperience at a lot of key positions.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Rockets are coming off from yet another Super Bowl run and many key players return who know how to win. Missing Middlesex League All-Star quarterback Corey DiLoreto won’t derail the success as senior Matt Panacopoulos steps into the spotlight with experience already under his belt - throwing a touchdown pass in last season’s Super Bowl loss to King Philip. With senior running back Jack Geiger returning to the backfield and a defense anchored by Pat Conroy and Zack Riffe, a third-straight trip to Gillette might be in store.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Wakefield

Revere

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Lou Cicatelli (16th season). Career: Career: 59-91.

Last year’s record: 6-4

Strengths: Offensive and defensive line

Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Patriots are in the midst of a youth movement after two high-watermark seasons for the program, but there’s a lot to be encouraged about on either side of the ball. Coach Lou Cicatelli hopes he can build around his ‘‘Mr. Everything’’, 5-foot-10-inch, 165-pound Badr Haou, who led the team in touchdowns a year ago and has played everywhere from X receiver to tight end to wingback and even won two games with his kicking ability. ‘‘Badr’s not the fastest kid in the world but he has some of the greatest hands,’’ Cicatelli said. Juniors Frank Sims and Devin Mathias anchor the middle of the offensive and defensive lines, while Ryan Mangino and Edeh Ballo will also contribute in the trenches. ‘‘These kids are physical,’’ Cicatelli added. ‘‘They’re all strong, hungry kids.’’ Under center, sophomore Jonathan Murphy shows a lot of upside with his athleticism and 6-foot-1-inch frame, and we may see him on a number of sprint-out plays this season.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Gloucester

Rockland

Playoff alignment: Division 6 South

Coach: Nick Liquori (1st season). Career: 0-0..

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Experience; deep at linebacker; leadership

Concerns: Lack of experience.

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With two players coming back from injury and a new head coach who has been around the program for the last 12 years, the Bulldogs are in a good position to improve upon last year’s 5-6 record. A 1995 Rockland grad who won a state title with the program in 1992, Nick Liquori is the head baseball coach as well. Jon Baar, who broke his wrist in the first game of last season, takes over at QB. Conner Shea, who tore his ACL during training camp last year, will start at running back and linebacker. Those two captains lead a 12-player senior class that is determined to make the playoffs. Classmates Zach Sharland (TE/DE), Will Brenmore (MLB/OL) and Lou Casey (T/DT) headline a group ready to win.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Cohasset

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Sacred Heart

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: T.J. Byrne (3rd season). Career: Career: 5-14.

Last year’s record: 3-7

Strengths: Offensive line, linebackers

Concerns: Depth, inexperience

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: In just their third season as a varsity program, Sacred Heart has improved each of the last two seasons and even qualified for the state tournament last year. This season the Fightin’ Saints are looking to continue improving, but with just five returning starters they’ll have a lot of inexperienced players on the field. One area Sacred Heart is strong at is the offensive line, where three starters return, including senior captain Tyler Potrykus. Senior running back PJ Beuttel and senior receivers Nick Fantasia and Maguire Duggan will also be centerpieces on offense. Linebacker DJ Doncaster will anchor the defense after leading the team with 85 tackles last season.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., at Old Colony

Salem

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Matt Bouchard (4th season). Career: Career: 5-28.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Leadership of core seniors, work ethic.

Concerns: Lack of varsity snaps at quarterback.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: In Year 4, coach Matt Bouchard has a dedicated group of seniors that have been with him since freshman year, led by senior captains Tyler Skeffington (tight end/linebacker) and Felix Crux (guard/middle linebacker). They have bought in. A year ago, the Witches nearly double their scoring output from the 2015 season, averaging 16.6 points per game. Senior Aneudy Espinal will start at QB and Jayco Pena snared 21 passes last season.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Austin Prep

Sandwich

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: William O’Connell (4th season). Career: Career: 10-23.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Offensive experience

Concerns: Rebuilding the defense

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Blue Knights will be bolstered by the return of more than half their starters on offense, led by senior linemen Jake Hafferty, Sean VanCott (6-foot-4, 256 pounds), and Jeff Aluisy. Junior Cam Lopes is back for his second year as the starting QB and classmate Cam Travers returns after pacing Sandwich in scoring last season. Senior Nick Abbott is a physical presence at linebacker, as well as at tight end or fullback. Coach William O’Connell expects his team to have great chemistry -- the core group also plays basketball and lacrosse together.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m., vs. Bishop Connolly

Saugus

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Anthony Nalen (1st season). Career: Career: 11-11 (2-9 at Randolph, 9-2 at Bishop Connolly)..

Last year’s record: 1-10

Strengths: Wide receivers, youth

Concerns: Depth, offensive line

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Former Randolph coach Anthony Nalen moves north of Boston to Saugus, where he inherits a Sachems team that finished 1-10 in 2016. Seven sophomores will start on offense, including three of the four wideouts. Nalen feels he can depend on the underclassmen, though. ‘‘Two of them were starters for 11 games as freshmen, so they’re young but they’re experienced,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s definitely one of our strengths, our receivers, but they’re young.’’ Senior captain Ricky Martinez is the only veteran wide receiver and plays in the middle of the defense at Mike linebacker. ‘‘I think our linebackers are a strong part of our defense,’’ said Nalen, who noted the two sophomores alongside Martinez stood out in the preseason.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at St. Mary’s

Scituate

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Herb Devine (10th season). Career: Career: 61-39.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Skill Positions

Concerns: Quarterback uncertainty; Offensive line depth

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Athletic and hard-working, the Sailors return 14 starters from a 7-4 squad. The expectations are high. But who replaces Peter Churchill (29 TD passes), now a freshman QB at St. Lawrence University? Two juniors, Aidan Sullivan and Jack Ruble, entered camp vying for the starting position. Each has showcased a strong arm and sharp pocket awareness in the preseason. Senior receiver Abel Lopes, who led Division 2A in touchdown receptions (12) last season, is a top target and classmate Peyton Crosby is set to be a major weapon on offense, defense, and special teams. He put his speed on display at free safety last season and returned three kickoffs for scores. Injuries have been an issue on a thin O line.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., vs. Milford

Seekonk

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Vernon Crawford (6th season). Career: Career: 28-46 (23-30 at Seekonk).

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Passing game, secondary

Concerns: Size, depth

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Power back Matt Heaney and the majority of his O line from last year’s 8-3 squad that charged to the Division 4 South final has graduated. Yet coach Vernon Crawford is confident that Seekonk can make another run. ‘‘We just have to be real good at doing what we do -- being fast and keeping [foes] off guard,’’ said the coach. Directing a no-huddle spread attack that wears teams down, senior Terry Smith is back at QB. Classmate Shane Smith is a two-way standout at receiver and free safety. Just 5-foot-3, 155 pounds, senior Brian Dias wrecks havoc at nose tackle. The goal remains the same, according to Crawford: win the South Coast Conference.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Ashland

Sharon

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Dave Morse (7th season). Career: 29-39.

Last year’s record: 7-5

Strengths: Defensive Line, Linebacker.

Concerns: Lack of Experience.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: A strong front seven will once again be key for the Eagles. Coming off their first winning season since their Super Bowl victory in 2012, coach Dave Morse’s squad must now account for the loss of a strong senior class. Senior Jake Romanow and junior Coleman Loftus are veteran linebackers and captains that will lead a relatively young defense. The team suffers from a lack of height; just six players on the roster are listed at 6-0 or taller.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Randolph

Shawsheen

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Albert Costabile (26th season). Career: Career: 165-104, 125-81 with Shawsheen.

Last year’s record: 8-4

Strengths: Enthusiasm, work ethic, good nucleus of skill players

Concerns: Inexperience on the offensive and defensive line

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With the graduation of stalwart Craig Rich, the Rams are leaning on senior wide receiver Sam Baker, a versatile threat, to lead the offense. Baker, who registered 395 yards rushing, 127 yards receiving and six touchdowns in 2016, can also play quarterback in the wildcat. He also serves as one of three leaders on the defense, a group that includes defensive end Chris Lucas (79 tackles, 3 sacks in 2016) and linebacker Mark Companeschi, who led the team with 100 tackles last fall. Longtime coach Al Costabile believes the Rams need to hit the ground running. ‘‘We have a lot of inexperience, and I think a real key for us is to get off to a fast start,’’ he said.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Wilmington

Silver Lake

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Chris Digiacomo (3rd season). Career: Career: 12-10.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Camaraderie

Concerns: Overall experience

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Something clicked for the Lakers halfway through Chris Digiacomo’s second season as head coach. They’re 11-4 over their last 15 contests and Digiacomo said ‘‘We’ll look to take that positive energy and use it as momentum heading into this season.’’ Phil Lashley is back after rushing for over 1,000 yards last year and senior Matt Powell will lead the defense at middle linebacker. Sophomore Jesse Miller is pushing senior Tanner Boyd at quarterback, and either signal caller will have the benefit of working behind a capable offensive line.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at North Quincy

Somerset Berkley

Playoff alignment: Division 5 South

Coach: Nick Freitas (9th season). Career: 61-28.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Combination of depth and experience

Concerns: New conference familiarity; staying healthy

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Following an injury-plagued season last year, the Raiders are looking to make an impact in 2017, the team’s inaugural season in the South Coast Conference. Somerset-Berkley returns several starters from last year’s team, now in their junior season. Top lineman Ben McMahon excelled on both sides of the ball last season while junior running back Mike Gagliardi will carry much of the load in the backfield after being utilized mainly in third down situations a year ago. The Raiders’ best player, Chase Stafford, switches from running back to quarterback, a position which Coach Freitas believes the three-sport all-star will be able to fit into seamlessly.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Durfee

Somerville

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Makonnen Fenton (3rd season). Career: Career: 9-13..

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Experience, offensive playmakers.

Concerns: Consistency.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: UConn-bound senior quarterback Elijah Jeffreys and wide receiver Jiovanny Pierre, also a Division I prospect, lead a Somerville team that expects to build on last season’s 6-5 mark as the Highlanders transition to the Northeastern Conference from the Greater Boston League. ‘‘They usually cancel out each other’s mistakes,’’ third-year coach Makonnen Fenton said of the two senior playmakers. ‘‘It makes your job a lot easier.’’ Fenton anticipates the squad’s experience to lift the Highlanders. ‘‘We return most of our starters on both sides of the ball,’’ he said. ‘‘The young guys that are stepping up are just as good, if not better than the guys who were playing there last year.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Peabody

South Boston

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Germaine Sattiewhite (1st season). Career: First season.

Last year’s record: 2-7

Strengths: Offensive line

Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback

Offense: Pro set

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The big guys up front seldom get much credit, but their success often drives the offensive unit. With four returning starters, the South Boston offensive line is the strength of the team. Wilson Sanon, Carols Iobolo, Marcos Roman, and Jason Dorsainvil are all back this season, and will be joined by guard Jaleel Orlebar. South Boston’s offense returns six starters but will have big holes to fill, including at quarterback. With a small roster, coach Germaine Sattiewhite has elected to push his players mentally rather than physically this preseason in an effort to reduce injuries. The team won’t scrimmage, so the September 16 game against Atlantis Charter will be the first look at Sattiewhite’s new pro set offense.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 16, 12 p.m., vs. Atlantis Charter

South Shore Voc-Tech

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Derek Mariani (19th season). Career: Career: 104-98-2.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Skill positions

Concerns: One returning offensive linemen

Offense: Wishbone

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After a 2-9 season, the Vikings plan on being a more balanced team. ‘‘It’s going to be more of a balance,’’ said coach Derek Mariani. ‘‘I would like to envision that our line comes up in plays well and we can compete for the league.’’ Anthony Tanzi is the only returning offensive linemen for the Vikings this year and senior Kyle Lambiase will replace their leading runner, who has a torn ACL. Mariani looks for senior Josh Parker to play a key role at fullback and middle linebacker.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m., at Holbrook/Avon

Southeastern

Playoff alignment: Division 7 South

Coach: Dan Tripp (9th season). Career: Career: 46-44.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Ball control

Concerns: Experience

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Hawks lost several talented linemen to graduation last year and coach Dan Tripp is ‘‘looking for players to step in and be starters in 2017.’’ Defensively, the Hawks will be anchored by seniors Kyle Burns and Troy Butler. Burns is Southeastern’s top defensive back while Butler is a versatile middle linebacker. On offense, both Burns and Butler will serve as important pieces for the Hawks’ double-wing approach. Junior Ryan Kinney starts at QB.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m., at Whittier

St. John Paul II

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Matt Marshall (1st season). Career: First year.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Speed and senior leadership

Concerns: Size

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Lions, who lost 28-16 to Millis in the Division 4A South title game, will rely on speed and leadership this year. The Lions return linemen Will Coty, Kevin Flynn, and Nick Curran to protect senior quarterback Devan Harrison. Coach Matt Marshall plans to rotate three or four players to run the ball. ‘‘We are not the biggest team,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll see some bigger teams but we want to use our speed more than anything else.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m., at Monomoy

St. John’s Prep

Playoff alignment: Division 1 North

Coach: Brian St. Pierre (4th season). Career: 23-10.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Quarterback.

Concerns: Inexperience.

Offense: Pro set

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Hearts sank in Danvers when it was reported that standout junior wide receiver and safety Wes Rockett would miss the season due to injury. But Prep remains stocked with talent. Senior quarterback and baseball prodigy Mike Yarin returns under center, having led Prep to the D1 North semifinals against Andover in 2016. ‘‘I think it’s important he doesn’t put added pressure on himself,’’ said coach Brian St. Pierre. ‘‘He has to trust the guys around him.’’ With only one returning starter on the offensive line, Yarin will have to rely on players like junior wideout Max Freedman to help ease the burden. On defense, middle linebacker Pat Keefe will be tasked with much responsibility when Prep opens on Sept. 9 at Haverhill. Said St. Pierre, ‘‘he’s our bell-tower, our leader on D.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m., at Haverhill

St. Mary’s

Playoff alignment: Division 7 North

Coach: Matt Durgin (10th season). Career: Career: 159-73.

Last year’s record: 11-1

Strengths: Skill positions

Concerns: Offensive line, depth

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Spartans road to victory will be paved by senior Calvin Johnson, the reigning Catholic Central Large MVP. He led Division 3A last season with 31 touchdowns and racked up more than 2,000 all-purpose yards. This year, he’ll be the team’s quarterback in a double wing offense, with classmate William Brumfield among the running backs who will flank him in the backfield. The offensive line remains a work in progress for coach Matt Durgin. ‘‘We had some good kids up front last year, so we have some new faces there,’’ he said. ‘‘As soon as they mature, they’ll be better.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Saugus

Stoneham

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Bob Almeida (6th season). Career: Career: 155-95-1 overall; 30-26 with Stoneham..

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Running back

Concerns: Depth on offensive and defensive lines

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: If the Spartans sustain their success on defense -- they yielded just 12.7 points per game last season -- it will be largely due to the work of defensive coordinator John Rafferty. ‘‘He’s simply outstanding,’’ said coach Bob Almeida. ‘‘He’s the best drill person. The way he conducts his defensive sessions are second to none, and the kids have bought in wholeheartedly to what we teach.’’ The Spartans did suffer a major loss with the graduation of standout linebacker Tim Russell, but Almeida remains confident in his replacements. Senior Tre Pignone moves from quarterback into the backfield, where the standout athlete can contribute in a variety of ways. ‘‘He’s such a threat running the ball that we felt it was best to put him at the wing position, where he can run and receive passes,’’ said Almeida. The Spartans shouldn’t skip a beat at quarterback with senior Jack McCabe taking the reins. ‘‘He’s a leader, number one. He’s intelligent,’’ said Almeida. ‘‘His mechanics are very good, his ball-handling skills are good, and he’s an athlete.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., vs. Archbishop Williams

Stoughton

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Greg Burke (25th season). Career: 168-104-4.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Returning starters

Concerns: Lack of depth

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: A heartbreaking loss to Duxbury in the D2 South semifinals last year is still fresh in the minds of returning Black Knights. Senior QB/SS Evan Gibb will lead a spread-style attack, with senior WR Colin Sanda as his main target. FB/LBs Alex Sjoquist and Justin Ly are physical players in the backfield and on defense. The team will play their games on the road and at Stonehill College as their new turf field is being built.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Franklin

Swampscott

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Bob Serino (3rd season). Career: Career: 8-14..

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Senior class, experience, team speed

Concerns: -

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: A Swampscott team that endured bumps throughout coach Bob Serino’s first two seasons has blossomed into a roster packed with experience. The Big Blue boast three third-year starters on both the offensive and defensive lines, in addition to quarterback (Colin Frary), linebacker (Dominic Codispoti) and running back (Isaiah Bascon). ‘‘We’re actually two deep at almost every position this year,’’ said Serino. ‘‘We couldn’t say that in the last two years. I really have no concerns at any particular position.’’ Center/defensive lineman Jake Bartram, and sophomore wide receiver/outside linebacker Jonathan Oriakhi, showed notable improvement in the preseason. The Big Blue host Greater Lawrence on Sept. 9.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Greater Lawrence

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Taunton

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Brad Sidwell (2nd season). Career: 5-6. Career: 118-104-3 at Franklin.

Last year’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Size and depth up front.

Concerns: Overall inexperience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Brad Sidwell’s first season as coach of the Tigers prompted a four-win improvement for the program. Now, with junior Noah Leonard returning under center, Taunton hopes to take the next step and post a winning record in 2017. ‘‘Last year we ended up huddling a little more and being more of a multiple, pro-style offense,’’ Sidwell said. ‘‘We’re trying to do that again this year.’’ Due to an increase in numbers, the Tigers now boast depth on the offensive line and at receiver. Give Leonard time in the pocket and he’ll make you pay. ‘‘I think we’ll be a new team,’’ Sidwell said. ‘‘We have quite a few inexperienced players (but) they’re talented and excited.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. New Bedford

Tech Boston

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Raul Brown (3rd season). Career: 14-7.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Skill positions

Concerns: Inexperience at defensive line

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Tech Boston has a potent spread attack and has put up a lot of points in recent years. This year should be no different as the Bears enter the season with seven returning starters on offense. The returners include running back Ajaye Cooper, wide receiver Marcus Gonzalez and all-around athlete Jaron Harrison. Defensively, linebackers Mason Osorio and Devondre Morgan will be calling the shots. Tech Boston is returning five starters on defense but did lose starters on the defensive line. If the new defensive linemen perform well the Bears will be right in the mix in the Boston City League.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Georgetown

Tewksbury

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Brian Aylward (21st season). Career: 128-83-1.

Last year’s record: 10-1

Strengths: Senior leadership, skill position experience.

Concerns: Kicking game, OL/DL experience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Seven starters return for the Redmen after a successful 2016 campaign. Junior QB Jay Connolly looks to build on a promising sophomore season (1,200 yds, 12 TDs, 2 INT) with senior captains Will Matouv and Brandon Winn sharing the handoffs. Captain Blake Hiltz will play LB and TE after leading the team in tackles a year ago. Fellow captains Joe Rosberg and Masyn Lorick will highlight an experienced defense for the third straight year.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Malden Catholic

Tri-County

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Anthony Mazzola (8th season). Career: Career: 24-47.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Offensive Line and athleticism

Concerns: Inexperienced young players

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: With the graduation of all key stat leaders, the Cougars will have eight new starters on both sides of the ball. Tailback Bobby Fryar, who was injured for most of last year, returns after playing four games at the end of the season, racking up 300 yards and two TDs. Junior outside linebacker Evan Langille will bring a lot to the table this year, according to coach Anthony Mazzola. Mazzola is still undecided on his quarterback but said if they keep playing their cards right, the Cougars will have a pretty good group for the next couple of years.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 4 p.m., vs. Marian

Triton

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Pat Sheehan (8th season). Career: Career: 32-45..

Last year’s record: 9-3

Strengths: Quarterback, defensive scheme

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Read option

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Despite the graduation of Lewi L’Heureux, Triton coach Pat Sheehan doesn’t anticipate a dropoff at quarterback with last season’s leading receiver, senior Tommy Lapham, taking over. ‘‘Tommy grew up playing quarterback,’’ Sheehan said. ‘‘He’s a leader on and off the field. He’s athletic. He now has an understanding of the difficulties those guys (wide receivers) face. He knows all the routes at receiver because he was our backup quarterback last year.’’ Sheehan sees Triton’s pressure-centric defensive scheme as a strength, but a lack of depth and size could be a cause for concern. Even so, ‘‘This is definitely not a rebuilding year by any stretch of the imagination,’’ he said. Triton, which advanced to the D3 semifinals before falling to eventual state champion Hanover, opens the season at home against Marblehead.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Marblehead

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Upper Cape

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Ken Owen (1st season). Career: Career: 193-105-5 at Rockland.

Last year’s record: 10-3

Strengths: Young talent

Concerns: Inexperience

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: It will be a great learning experience for the Rams this year with new head coach Ken Owen. ‘‘We have to position a lot of kids around and with me being new, it’s taking me a while to get to know the kids,’’ said Owen. ‘‘It’s a learning experience for them as well and we are hoping things gel quickly.’’ Owens has many holes to fill this year, including at quarterback. Upper Cape will relying on young talent to grab playoff berth. Owens expects tailback Izayah Silva, linebacker Robert Fishman, and defensive end Wally Alden to play key roles for the Rams.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Bourne

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Wakefield

Coach: Steve Cummings (third year, 8-14)

Last season’s record: 5-6

Strengths: Quarterback, returning entire offensive and defensive lines.

Concerns: Inexperience in back seven

Offense: Pistol Wing-T

Playing Surface: Turf

Outlook: Cummings is a Lou Silva disciple, having played for the Hall of Fame coach at Marshfield High two decades agao. And after contemplating a switch to Silva’s patented pistol attack that saw the Rams bludgeon their way to back-to-back South titles and a state title in 2014, Cummings is finally pulling the trigger. I’m not waiting anymore,” he said. “When we get this thing fully installed and firing on all cylinders, I think it’s going to be a huge advantage for us offensively.” Cummings has been encouraged by the progress of incumbent QB Mike Lucey in camp. And UMass lacrosse recruit Ryan Fitzpatrick could pose a real threat at tailback with a skill set that is physical and elusive. The Warriors everyone on both sides of the trenches, including two-way edge player Devin O’Brien, guard Dan Cataldo, and center Pat Bertini.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Reading

Walpole

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Barry Greener (9th season). Career: 71-20.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: QB, deep receiving corps.

Concerns: RB, secondary.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Rebels must replace RB Ferry Armand, an 1,000-yard rusher last season. Senior QB Brett Lavanchy and classmate WR Kyle Smith, a captain, will spread the field in an attempt to open up the offense behind junior OL Pat Kearns, a Bay State Conference All-Star in 2016. Senior Dan O’Leary, another league all-star, is a dynamic player in the secondary and on special teams. Four returning starters on each side of the ball will try to mask depth problems at OL and DB.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Mansfield

Waltham

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: John Bourque (7th season). Career: 32-31..

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Leadership.

Concerns: Difficult schedule.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: It was a bounce back year for the Hawks after finishing only 3-7 the year before. Still in the competitive Dual County Large and now in the new alignment being in a deep Division 2 North, John Bourque and his squad have their work cut out in 2017. Kyle Torres (WR) will hopefully join with Nick Caliri (RB) and continue to create a consistent offensive attack that averaged 20.2 points per game last fall.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Newton North

Wareham

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Robert Lomp (2nd season). Career: Career: 122-42 (114-39 at Apponequet).

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Speed

Concerns: Offensive line and depth

Offense: Double wing

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Vikings graduated three of their five linemen, but return running back Issac Nascimento who was Boston Globe Division 3A Player of the Year after setting a single-season school record with 27 touchdowns and racking up 2,000 all-purpose yards last year. After an 8-3 season coach Robert Lomp hopes to make it further in the playoffs. ‘‘We want to compete for our half of the league title, which is the South Coast Conference Small Division,’’ he said. ‘‘We won a share of that title last year and we hope to be in the mix for a championship on our side of the league and then get into the playoffs and hopefully make some noise.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Old Rochester

Watertown

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: John Cacace (11th season). Career: Career: 64-47 overall; 61-48 with Watertown..

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Senior leadership, offensive line, skill players

Concerns: Depth, staying healthy

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Raiders enter 2017 aiming for a third consecutive sectional championship appearance. On offense the Raiders will lean on what coach John Cacace describes as ‘‘a nice group of multi-talented kids.’’ Junior Nick McDermott takes over for Deon Harris under center, but Cacace doesn’t anticipate a drop off in production. ‘‘Nick has tremendous presence at the quarterback position that I love,’’ said Cacace. ‘‘Nick’s a different type of player than Deon was, but I think we’ve got a solid quarterback taking over the reins.’’ Seniors James Walter, Jake Matton, Joe Chau and Ben Landry power an offensive line tasked with protecting McDermott. Cacace believes the Raiders are capable of making a run if they avoid injuries. ‘‘We don’t have a ton of kids, and keeping everybody healthy is going to be important,’’ he said.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Arlington Catholic

Wayland

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Scott Parseghian (17th season). Career: Career: 107-74.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Linebackers, nose guard

Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Warriors return a bevy of experience, led by star linebackers Sean Devlin, last year’s Dual County Small Defensive Player of the Year, and Wellington Pereira, a junior who is picking up Division 1 interest. ‘‘They attack very well and they read quickly,’’ coach Scott Parseghian said. ‘‘And sometimes that’s just as good as a blitz, given their size and speed.’’ Pereira, a bowling ball at 6-foot-1-inch, 220 pounds, also figures to be the lead ball carrier on offense, where he’ll be running behind a line that returns four starters. In the middle, 275-pound Brooks Jones should be a problem at nose guard with his deceiving speed. The Warriors are green under center, with sophomore Mason Bolivar needing to catch up quick on Parseghian’s patented read-option scheme. However, speedy senior receiver Ben Robinson should ease the process.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Hopkinton

Wellesley

Playoff alignment: Division 2 South

Coach: Jesse Davis (6th season). Career: 35-21.

Last year’s record: 10-1

Strengths: Offensive line and quarterback.

Concerns: Experience.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Jack Tishman was one of the most dazzling arms in all of the state last season, leading Division 1A with a total of 16 touchdown passes. Returning as a senior, he has to help lead a core group of players who do not have much experience playing at the varsity level. ‘‘Had a great off season. Players are physically ready for the season,’’ said coach Jesse Davis, who is entering his sixth season for the Raiders.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 3 p.m., vs. Concord-Carlisle

West Bridgewater

Playoff alignment: Division 8 South

Coach: Bill Panos (32nd season). Career: .

Last year’s record: 6-4

Strengths: Experience

Concerns: Depth

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After a 41-12 loss to Abington in the Division 4A South quarterfinals last year, coach Bill Panos hopes to see his Warriors advance further in the postseason this season. ‘‘I hope to get into the playoffs,’’ he said. ‘‘We have been in the playoffs the last couple of years but I hope to win that first game which has been avoiding us.’’ Panos expects big things from sophomore Matt Lavoie, who will replace his graduated brother Justin Lavoie at quarterback.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Diman

West Roxbury

Playoff alignment: Division 8 North

Coach: Derek Wright (6th season). Career: 16-38.

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Versatility, experience.

Concerns: Depth at offensive line.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With seven returning starters on each side of the ball, West Roxbury is entering the season with a good amount of experience. One position that will need to be filled is quarterback. Erven Exhilhomme is the favorite to land the starting job after filling in at times last season. Michael Cruz will be back for the Raiders at running back along with Louis Pina. The offensive line is a cause for concern entering the season as West Roxbury graduated three starters from last year. Derek Bertucci will be the leader on this year’s unit. After a 3-8 season, coach Derek Wright’s biggest goal for this fall is to just improve week to week. ‘‘As far as expectations, I just look for them to improve each week,’’ Wright said. ‘‘As long as they continue to improve I’d be happy with that.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 5 p.m., vs. Pope John

Westford

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: Pat Gendron (1st season). Career: 0-0..

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: A good group of leaders.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: ‘‘The kids are fired up. Everything is positive and everything is going well,’’ said first-year coach Pat Gendron, who has a talented group of seniors who have stepped forward to lead the younger players in camp. Receiver Tyler Blagg is a threat on the outside with junior Cam Barisano at QB. Richard Haggerty and Scott Beattie anchor the defensive backfield, and John Sturrock is stout at the line of scrimmage.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Dracut

Weston

Playoff alignment: Division 5 North

Coach: Rich Brissette (1st season). Career: Career: 19-35 (at Weston 2001-05).

Last year’s record: 3-7

Strengths: Skill positions, team speed

Concerns: Offensive and defensive lines

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After spending five years as an assistant on the Wildcat staff, Rich Brissette returns this time as head coach -- a title he previously held from 2001-05 after a 10-year run at Hudson Catholic. Playing an independent schedule instead of the Dual County Small, the Wildcats usher a new five-man rotation into the backfield, a group that includes seniors Theo DelGizzi, Mike Sacco and Andrew Black, and juniors Julian Antoine and Junior Uga. There’s some uncertainty along the offensive line, though, which welcomes five new starters. Brissette will count on offensive lineman/linebacker Hayden Zeller and cornerback/wide receiver Cade Rutkowski -- both sophomores -- to deliver if the Wildcats are to improve last season’s 3-7 record. The Wildcats are also uncertain of the location of their home games through Nov. 1, which is when the school expects the installation of artificial turf to be complete.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Dover-Sherborn

Westwood

Playoff alignment: Division 4 South

Coach: Brad Pindel (1st season). Career: 16-17 in three seasons at Dover-Sherborn.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Passing game, kicker

Concerns: Experience on offensive line

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The offensive coordinator at Westwood for 11 years, Brad Pindel returns to the sidelines for the Wolverines after a three-year stint as head coach of Dover-Sherborn. Senior quarterback Reed Wilson will captain Pindel’s spread offense and often look towards top target Jake Antonucci. ‘‘It’s going to be good to have a veteran under center and a receiver who is an incredible athlete,’’ Pindel said. ‘‘Our passing game should be our strength.’’ Solidifying Westwood’s offensive and defensive line is 6-foot-4-inch, 330-pound senior Colin Best, while kicker Nick McQuarry, a transfer from Florida, should give the Wolverines a leg up on special teams.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Pembroke

Weymouth

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Kevin Mackin (13th season). Career: 75-61.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Leadership.

Concerns: Playing on the road.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After taking a step forward with a 4-7 season in 2015, the Wildcats took a step back with a 2-9 2016 campaign. Evan Couper will be back under center for the Wildcats, who will also return multiple linemen. It’ll be important to find success on the road this season after going 1-4 last season away from Weymouth.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Plymouth North

Whitman-Hanson

Playoff alignment: Division 3 South

Coach: Mike Driscoll (7th season). Career: 32-33-1.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: RB, WR, offensive line.

Concerns: LB, overall depth.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With nine starters returning on offense and six returning on defense, the Panthers look to build on their second straight 7-4 season. The offense will be led by QB Ethan Phelps, who took an inexperienced 2016 squad to the MIAA tournament. Top receivers Bobby McCormack and Jason Bossen graduated, leaving Phelps with young but talented targets. Senior center and Patriot League All-Star Riley Holland will anchor the offensive line. Said coach Mike Driscoll, ‘‘We expect to compete for a championship.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Plymouth South

Whittier

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Kevin Bradley (17th season). Career: Career: 116-63..

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Athletic ability, senior leadership

Concerns: Size, inexperience

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After back-to-back 3-8 seasons, the Wildcats are determined to return to their winning ways with an athletic squad. Coach Kevin Bradley touted the leadership of seniors John Rose (OL/DL), Carvea Chen (WR/DB), Andrew Buzzell (LB), along with his son, Kevin Bradley (QB), all of whom are returning starters. ‘‘A lot has to do with leadership,’’ said the elder Bradley. ‘‘That’s the key. We’ve got that senior leadership and we can make some noise.’’ The Wildcats hope the addition of defensive coordinator Lance Little boosts a defense in which Bradley sees growth from last fall. ‘‘We didn’t have linebackers last year that could make the hit behind the line of scrimmage, and I think we have that this year,’’ he said. ‘‘They were young last year and they’ve grown over this year, so we’re hoping they step up.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m., vs. Southeastern

Wilmington

Playoff alignment: Division 4 North

Coach: Craig Turner (1st season). Career: 0-0 (28-15 at Mystic Valley).

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Quarterback, team athleticism, experience on defense

Concerns: Depth, adjusting to new philosophies on offense and defense

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Of all the coaching changes in the offseason, one of the sneaky best hires was Craig Turner, who built an infantile Mystic Valley program into one that competed for sectional titles and churned out Division I talent by the end of its first decade of existence. The Wildcats already seem to be enjoying the sea change under Turner, who’s up for the tall task of installing his patented spread scheme in a program that had been more conservative offensively in recent years. Quarterback Graham Smith, a Franklin Pierce baseball commit who missed last season with a collarbone injury, has picked up the offense quickly and his dual-threat ability could mean success for the Wildcats. On the perimeter, Tyler Roberts moves from tight end to wideout and Turner expects him to ‘‘open some eyes this year’’ with his physicality in the vertical passing game. Defensively, Roberts could be a real threat at outside linebacker in the Wildcats 3-4 front, and should hardly leave the field with his pass rush and pass coverage abilities.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Shawsheen

Winchester

Playoff alignment: Division 3 North

Coach: Wally Dembowski (7th season). Career: 18-47.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Experience at key positions.

Concerns: Young rotational players.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Five of the Sachems seven losses were by seven points or less last year. Senior captain Liam Fitzpatrick will start at QB for the fourth season after throwing for 1,700 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. His main target will be fellow captain Steve Osborne, a senior and three-year starter at WR. Seven other seniors will return as starters. Said coach Wally Dembowski; ‘‘If we can finish games stronger and continually improve on a weekly basis we should be competitive in every game.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2:30 p.m., at Newton South

Winthrop

Playoff alignment: Division 6 North

Coach: Sean Driscoll (11th season). Career: Career: 53-47..

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Depth on offensive line

Concerns: Inexperience, staying healthy

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Winthrop hasn’t played a down of football and already faces a disadvantage: it expects to be without a home field until the Thanksgiving Day game against Revere -- that’s when construction on its artificial turf should wrap up. It’s a point of frustration for coach Sean Driscoll, whose roster includes only six seniors. ‘‘They’re going to have to mature fast,’’ he said. This season should serve as valuable experience for Winthrop’s 27 freshmen and sophomores, but some obstacles can be expected early in the year. ‘‘It’s like a total rehab after coming off a lousy year last year,’’ Driscoll said. ‘‘It’s definitely a rebuilding year.’’ Winthrop receives a boost up front from two-way lineman Calvin Tufa, a three-year starter Driscoll calls ‘‘my best all-around player.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Danvers

Woburn

Playoff alignment: Division 2 North

Coach: Jack Belcher (1st season). Career: 77-62 over 13 years..

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Skill positions.

Concerns: Proper practice intensity.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The curtain closed on Rocky Nelson’s storied career at Woburn High with a 6-5 record last season, and now in steps Jack Belcher to take over for the coaching legend. ‘‘I grew up in Stoneham so I remember Woburn football - one of the powerhouses of Eastern Mass. for a long time,’’ said Belcher. ‘‘The last 10 years Woburn High is 49-47, and I think we need to be a lot better than a .500 team relatively quickly. We are looking to compete for the league title every year.’’ Belcher will have a large number of talented seniors at his disposal in his first year. Eli Ibrahimi, Ryan Getherall, Nelson Claude, Dustin Burkle and Bishop Fenwick transfer Isaiah Cashwell-Doe will be a fun group to watch on both sides of the ball.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at North Andover

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Xaverian

Playoff alignment: Division 1 South

Coach: Al Fornaro (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 10-2

Strengths: Defensive backfield.

Concerns: Perimeter defense.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After losing to Everett in last year’s Division 1 Super Bowl, 24-year veteran head coach Charlie Stevenson decided to call it quits. Now the Hawks turn to former defensive coordinator Al Fornaro to lead them after losing key contributors Devon Piccinin, Cal Flanders, and Mekhi Henderson to graduation. There’s still plenty of talent to go around. Senior safety Brian Abraham, who the Hawks plan to use off the edge and in blitz packages in addition to traditional pass coverage, has already received a verbal commitment from Yale. Senior running back and cornerback Ike Irabor shined in a limited role late in 2016. Says Fornaro, ‘‘Even though (Ike) is 5-10, we don’t have any reservations lining him up on a 6-3 guy. We’ll match him up on the opponent’s best receiver.’’ Though the Hawks have been known for their strong running attack in previous seasons, Fornaro plans to run a more balanced offensive scheme.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 3 p.m., at Everett