Last season: 6-4, 4-2 in conference play (lost in Week 10 playoffs)
Coach: Greg Dailer (11th season)
Key players: Griffin Gardoski, sr., WR/LB; Josh Harbeck, jr., OL; Dylan Simmons, sr., WR/DB; Joseph Stretch, sr., WR/LB; Brady Tonne, sr., OL; Anthony Whitis, sr., QB
Outlook: After just three wins in 2016, the Eagles doubled their win total last year and reached the Week 10 playoffs, where they fell to eventual state runner-up Rainier Beach. Arlington graduated its top three receivers from last season and returns just two starters on defense. But the Eagles have high expectations with standout senior Anthony Whitis back for his second full season as the starting quarterback. Whitis threw for 2,266 yards, 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last year while leading an up-tempo spread offense that averaged 30.3 points per game.
FERNDALE GOLDEN EAGLES
Last season: 11-1, 6-0 in conference play (lost in state quarterfinals)
Coach: Jamie Plenkovich (15th season)
Key players: Jacob Broselle, jr., RB/DB; Bryan Ebe, sr., QB/DB; Gader Fox, sr., RB/LB; Geirean Hatchett, jr., OL/DL; Watiko Leighton, sr., WR/DB; Jaden Schwartz, sr., RB/LB; Darius Washington, sr., OL/DL; Brett Westford, sr., OL/DL
Outlook: Ferndale is coming off an 11-1 season and a trip to the state quarterfinals, where the Golden Eagles fell to eventual state champion O’Dea. But after graduating eight of their nine all-conference players from last year, the defending Wesco 3A North champions have numerous key players to replace. Ferndale returns 6-foot-5, 275-pound junior Geirean Hatchett, a standout two-way lineman with college offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma and numerous other big-time programs. Calling the plays for the Golden Eagles’ Wing-T offense will be former NFL quarterback and University of Washington standout Jake Locker, a 2006 Ferndale graduate who is taking over as offensive coordinator after spending the past several years as the team’s quarterbacks coach.
MARYSVILLE GETCHELL CHARGERS
Last season: 1-9, 0-6 in conference play
Coach: Davis Lura (eighth season)
Key players: Mejinta Adams, sr., WR/DL; Austin Byron, jr., LB/RB; Ryan King, sr., RB/DB; Caleb Koellmer, sr., QB; Trey Padgett, sr., WR/DB; Dylan Rice, sr., WR/DB; Cheron Smith, soph., LB/RB; Max White, jr., LB/TE
Outlook: After back-to-back 5-5 campaigns in 2012 and 2013 — the program’s second and third years of existence — the Chargers have suffered through four consecutive losing seasons. Marysville Getchell hopes to be more competitive after going winless in the Wesco 3A North this past fall for the second straight year, losing all six league games by at least 34 points.
MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK TOMAHAWKS
Last season: 2-8, 1-5 in conference play
Coach: Brandon Carson (12th season)
Key players: Zion Botelho, jr., LB; Jordan Justice, jr., WR/DB; Dillon Kuk, jr., WR/DB; Bryan Sanders, sr., RB/DB; Cade Tucker, sr., OL/DL; Ashton Whitney-Bajema, sr., OL
Outlook: After capping a string of five state-playoff appearances in six years with a 2014 state-semifinal run, the Tomahawks have suffered through three consecutive losing seasons. That includes a 2-8 campaign last fall, when youth-laden Marysville Pilchuck managed just one conference victory and was outscored by 17.7 points per game in league play. With more experience this season, including the return of 6-foot-4, 285-pound senior two-way lineman Cade Tucker, the Tomahawks hope to make strides and get back to their winning ways.
OAK HARBOR WILDCATS
Last season: 9-2, 5-1 in conference play (lost in first round of state playoffs)
Coach: Jay Turner (11th season)
Key players: Michael Fisken, sr., OL/LB; Caleb Fitzgerald, sr., QB/DB; Dorian Hardin, sr., RB/DB; Caden Leckelt, soph., RB/LB; Aaron Martinez, sr., RB/LB; Nathaniel Nunez, jr., OL/DL
Outlook: Oak Harbor is coming off a 9-2 season and a trip to the state playoffs, where the Wildcats fell in the opening round to eventual state semifinalist Bellevue. Oak Harbor graduated its top three running backs from last year’s Wing-T rushing attack, but returns senior cornerback Dorian Hardin and senior linebacker Aaron Martinez. Hardin intercepted seven passes last season and Martinez totaled 104 tackles, leading a stingy defense that allowed just 15.5 points per game.
Last season: 6-4, 2-4 in conference play
Coach: Nick Lucey (fifth season)
Key players: Jackson Campbell, sr., OL/DL; Spencer Lloyd, sr., QB/LB; Dominick Mack, sr., OL/DL; Collin McEachran, jr., TE/LB; Dedrick Mitchell, jr., WR/DB; Devante Powell, jr., WR/DB; Branden Powers, jr., RB/LB; Zach Tucker, sr., WR/LB
Outlook: After three consecutive state-playoff appearances from 2014 to 2016, Squalicum missed the postseason last year with a 2-4 record in league play. But the Storm weren’t far from a 4-2 conference record, having lost to Oak Harbor and Arlington by a combined four points. Squalicum graduated standout running back Triston Smith, but returns a massive line and dual-threat senior quarterback Spencer Lloyd, who totaled nearly 2,000 yards and 26 touchdowns last season while throwing just two interceptions.
Last season: 5-6, 3-3 in conference play (lost in Week 10 playoffs)
Coach: Eric Keizer (fourth season)
Key players: Jeremy Anderson, sr., RB/DB; Sam Delich, sr., WR/DB; Logan Ferguson, sr., OL/LB; Tre Frankhauser, jr., OL/DL; Wyatt Tayon, sr., OL/DL; Taylor Zempel, sr., OL/LB
Outlook: Stanwood reached five wins last year for the first time since 2006 and earned its first Week 10 playoff appearance since 2009. But after graduating standout linebacker Nathan Lynn and several of their biggest offensive playmakers, new talent will need to emerge for the Spartans to continue their upward trajectory.