Host B.J. Koubaroulis and Brandon Parker preview the high school football season in the WCAC. (Nick Plum/Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC for The Washington Post)

Favorite: DeMatha (9-3)

The Stags welcome back nine defensive starters and boast several strong skill players as they look to end Good Counsel’s reign as WCAC champs and win their first title since 2008.

Contenders: Good Counsel (11-1); Gonzaga (8-3); St. John’s (5-6)

Around the league: DeMatha is loaded with Football Bowl Subdivison talent and experience on both sides of the ball. Running backs Taiwan Deal and Mark Allen provide a 1-2 punch in the backfield while DL Deonte Holden and LB Ja’whaun Bentley have the speed and power to give opponents fits. . . . Four-time defending WCAC champ Good Counsel graduated a number of its skill players but remains strong on defense, boasting Maryland commit Jesse Aniebonam and Darius Fullwood on the line along with senior captain Kobie Walker at linebacker. New starting QB Bryan Strittmatter will depend on RB Leo Ekwoge and an experienced offensive line led by Sam Mustipher to give him the time and space necessary to evolve as a player. . . . Gonzaga is building its mettle for conference play by taking on three strong national opponents to begin the season. Miles Taylor will lead the secondary following the graduation of All-Met DB Devin Butler. Offensively, Robbie Walker and Reggie Corbin’s ability to line up in the backfield and the slot should open up opportunities for the Eagles. Emerging junior WR Jabari Greenwood is a player to watch. . . . St. John’s will rely on dual-threat QB and Maryland commit Will Ulmer as well as DB Omar Truitt to challenge within the WCAC. The Cadets have an emerging impact player in junior RB Omar Garcia. . . McNamara hopes the presence of a new coach (former NFL player Keith Goganious) and a top-10 national recruit in OL Damian Prince will result in its first winning record since 2009.

Related: 2013 football preview

: Rankings: The Post’s preseason Top 20: Good Counsel has owned the WCAC over the last four years, but they have numerous holes to fill this fall.

D.C. area bursting with linemen prospects

IAC preview | MAC preview

Prince George’s 4A preview | Concorde preview

Montgomery 4A West preview

Games to Watch

Preseason All-Met Watch

Rankings: The Post Top 20

Go inside the huddle with the Falcons as they take on Gilman in their nationally televised season-opener. (Video by Nathan Bickell for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)