Briar Woods WR-DB Alex Carter (Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)
Favorite: Briar Woods (13-2)

The Falcons return 14 starters from the Virginia AA Division 4 championship team.

Contenders: Loudoun County (5-5), Loudoun Valley (8-4)

The Raiders will return to the physical style that led them to the playoffs in 2008 and 2009. Vikings lost 22 seniors from AAA Division 5 Northwest Region semifinalist team.

Dark horse: Park View (5-7)

The Patriots return key offensive players from their region semifinalist team.

Around the area

Briar Woods outscored district opponents 233-94 last season and returns 14 starters including senior WR Alex Carter (Stanford), senior DL Justin Baker and sophomore QB Trace McSorley. . . . Junior QB Jake Lokey emerged mid-season and led Loudoun County to a 3-1 record in its final four games. The Raiders will be aiming to get to the postseason for the third time in four years. . . . Park View advanced to the Region II Division 3 semifinals in Ferris Eways’s first year as coach and returns leading wide receivers in seniors Ryan McCarter (755 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Dante Absher. Senior QB Alec Dombkowski led the district with 21 touchdown passes last season. . . . Loudoun Valley is back in the Dulles District after a six-year hiatus and will look to senior WR Harrison Jackson (Boston College) to provide big plays in the passing game. . . . Heritage (1-9) took its lumps at the AAA level the past two years but returns to the Dulles District ready to rebound behind senior QB Austin Nelson (3,942 yards and 33 touchdowns in two seasons in the AAA Cedar Run). . . . TuscaroraCoach Mike Burnett brings his Huskies (5-5) into the league behind dynamic senior RB Cameron Molina. . . . Dominion (4-7) lost 16 seniors from its first-ever playoff team and will look to a collection of running backs to fill the playmaking void left by electric RB Deandre Reaves. . . . Woodgrove (2-8) will lean on strong offensive and defensive lines in its first year in the district. . . . Potomac Falls (1-9) struggled in Year One under Mike Gims but improved down the stretch and returns an experienced group.

— Matt Brooks