City League preview: Dragons likely have firepower to win title

| FORECAST BY MIKE WHTE

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Team to beat

Allderdice -- The Dragons have come close, but this finally might be the year they win their first City League football title since 1967. Coach Jerry Haslett's team lost in the title game a year ago for the second time in the past three seasons. A number of players return from the 2013 team, most notably twins James and Tim Jackson. Both are 6 feet 2, 175-pound juniors. Jim threw for 1,677 yards in 2013 and Tim caught 33 passes, averaging 30.6 yards per catch. Talon Scott, Anthony Langford and Lamone Dixon return on the lines.

Contenders

University Prep -- The defending City League champion lost most of its starters to graduation. But coach Lou Berry does get back the most prominent player in the City in quarterback Ron Brown, a 5-9, 170-pound senior. University Prep throws often and Brown completed 207 of 342 passes for a whopping 3,401 yards and 43 touchdowns in 2013 in 10 games. But a whole new set of receivers must develop. Center Kevin Williams is back for his fourth season as a starter.

Brashear -- With the return of starting running backs Ty Power and Khalil Saunders, the Bulls could make some noise. Power rushed for nearly 700 yards in 2013. Therran Coleman moves from receiver to quarterback. Linebackers Keyshawn Shaaid and Joe Bonner return on defense.

Perry -- Ken Wright takes over as coach for Bill Gallagher, who won seven titles in 13 seasons. The Commodores hope to improve on a 3-6 record, and developing a running game will be the key. Wright will rely on Malik James, Chandlor Huston and Avonworth transfer Rich Giles. Shawn Rutherford will be at quarterback. Jujuan Engram returns as a two-way lineman.

The others

Carrick -- There is optimism thanks to the return of seven offensive starters and six defensive starters. Running back Joe Kalsek was the team's leading rusher last season, and 5-11, 220-pound Hakeim McKenzie returns at quarterback and strong safety. Other returning starters are WR-CB Taylor Thornton, linemen Tyler Thornton (Taylor's twin brother), Terrin Hampton and Isiah Walker, WR/DB Levar Chapman and RB/LB Marsai Howard.

Westinghouse -- The Bulldogs finished 1-9 in 2013, and things won't be easy again as only a few starters return. Fullback Kejuan Burg and lineman Deontrae Boyce are two of the top players.


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