Favorite: H.D. Woodson (6-5)

The Warriors struggled out of conference last season but allowed only six points combined in four regular season games against divisional opponents.

Best rivalry: H.D. Woodson junior CB/WR D’Andre Payne vs. Ballou senior RB/DB Daywone Wright

The playmaker of their respective teams, Payne and Wright’s performances this fall will go a long way toward determining the division champion.

Players to watch: WR Robert Johnson, H.D. Woodson (6-0, 170, Jr.); DB D’Andre Payne, H.D. Woodson (5-9, 170, Jr.); Constantien Shelton, Spingarn (5-10, 170, Sr.); RB Daywone Wright, Ballou (6-0, 180, Sr.).

DCIAA west

Favorite: Dunbar (9-3)

The defending DCIAA champs return senior quarterback Lamel Matthews, a four-year starter, and his younger brother, Delonte, a junior wide receiver.

Best rivalry: Dunbar vs. Wilson. (Nov. 2)

Although Dunbar beat Wilson, 37-0, last season, the Tigers are expected by many league coaches to be the surprise team in the DCIAA this fall. If so, Wilson’s matchup Nov. 2 against the Crimson Tide should be close.

Players to watch: QB Scott Beumel, Wilson (6-2, 190, Sr.); RB Jeremy Dixon, Wilson (5-9, 175, Sr.); WR Delonte Matthews, Dunbar (6-1, 170, Jr.); RB/LB Hasan Jenkins, Coolidge (5-10, 185, Sr.); QB Lamel Matthews, Dunbar (6-2, 174, Sr.).


Favorite: Friendship Collegiate (9-1)

An impressive 2011 campaign solidified the fact that the Knights have become a program to be reckoned with in the D.C. area, regardless of school type or league affiliation.

Best rivalry: Friendship Collegiate vs. their own success

Given their deficient athletic resources, D.C. public charter schools aren’t supposed to rise to prominence the way Friendship has done in recent years. The more the Knights win, the larger the target on their collective back will become.

Players to watch: OL Derwin Gray, Friendship Collegiate (6-5, 260, Sr.); LB Yannick Ngakoue, Friendship Collegiate (6-3, 240, Sr.); CB Jalen Tabor, Friendship Collegiate (6-0, 181, Jr.); LB Cavon Walker, Friendship Collegiate (6-1, 220, Sr.).