Much attention is paid to Potomac's passing game, with WRs Korey Coles and Eric Westbrooks returning and much expected from junior James Nickens, who moves from tight end to quarterback.

Coach Eric Knight and opposing coaches, however, think the Wolverines' running game is ready to lead the offense. Not only does Potomac have a massive offensive line, it also brings back its top running backs: senior Titan Trabue and bruising junior Adrian McLeod.

"I think we have a better running game than we did last year," said Knight, who expects to pass less than he did last season, when he had All-Met second-team QB Harold Dorman. . . .

For the fourth consecutive season, Bladensburg will be without a home field. While Bladensburg High is being rebuilt, the school is housed in a building in Bowie and the football team is forced to play all of its games on the road. The Mustangs will play some "home" games at Bowie High and DuVal High, but the more exciting news is that they have eight returning starters on both sides of the ball.

"Every game is going to be competitive, that's all I'm going to say," Bladensburg Coach Franklin Kimpson said.

The Mustangs have made the playoffs only once, losing in the first round in 1990. . . .

Douglass Coach J.C. Pinkney said he thinks junior Davon Gray can step in for All-Met Quinton Brown at quarterback and sophomore FB Derron Hall is "something else." But Pinkney -- who says "skill guys are a dime a dozen" -- is most anxious to see Parkdale transfer Patrick Mimms on the field.

Mimms, a 6-2, 255-pound senior, will play guard on offense and will move between the line and linebacker on defense.

"Mimms is incredible," Pinkney said. Between "he and [DT Thomas Claggett], I wouldn't want to play against our defense. Anytime you have two Division I kids on the same team, you're going to have some dominant play. But when you have them on the same line, it's going to cause a lot of problems for people." . . .

It was an interesting offseason at Forestville, which is faced with the task of replacing standouts Andre Jones, Richard Abney and Donte Woodyard. One of the Knights' top players -- WR Jermaine Lindsay -- begin practicing with another team before returning, and the team was trying to bring along a quarterback with no high school experience -- basketball point guard Dennis Anthony.

But don't count out the Knights. They have size and talent on the offensive line with junior Antonio Logan-El (committed to Maryland), three-year starter Rashad Maybin and senior Arric Payne. And RB Justin Tilliman, who catapulted from mop-up time to prime time last season, could be dangerous.

"This year, not that we don't have expectations," Forestville Coach Charles Harley said, "but the pressure is not there that we've got to do it." . . .

Gwynn Park has advanced to the postseason four consecutive years, the longest streak among county public schools. On the other end of the spectrum, Central and Surrattsville have never qualified for the playoffs.

-- JOSH BARR