Offseason changes at West Springfield could shake up the AAA Northern Region hierarchy. Andy Saffron will coach the defending state champion Spartans after eight seasons as an assistant. West Springfield had five starters graduate and four starters did not return for other reasons. Senior second-team All-Met goalkeeper Matt Tengs returns from last year's team, which finished 19-1-1.
Handley and Potomac Falls are contenders for the AA Region II title. Handley is eyeing its seventh regional crown in 11 seasons despite losing 15 players from last year's region championship team. Potomac Falls missed the region tournament last season, but second-team All-Met forward Phil Kowalick returns after scoring 26 goals a year ago.
George Mason hopes to win a Virginia A championship in an odd-numbered year. In the six-year history of the Group A state championship, the Mustangs have won the title three times -- 2000, 2002 and 2004. All-Bull Run District midfielder Josiah Larson is now the Mustangs' goalkeeper. Midfielder Antonio Randrianasolo, a member of Madagascar's under-14 national team, recently moved here and is expected to boost the offense.