Lake Braddock’s Tanner Quigley (John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST)
Favorite: Lake Braddock (12-2)

The Bruins lost All-Met QB Michael Nebrich but are improved in nearly every other position group.

Contender: South County (4-6)

The Stallions have a new coach and a new system, and they’ll be led by their defense.

Dark horse: West Potomac (6-4)

The Wolverines will be led by their star running back and a big-play offense.

Around the league

Lake Braddock faces a tall task in replacing Nebrich, the All-Met Offensive Player of the Year and the most prolific passer in Virginia state history. The Bruins feel they have the answer in Tyler Quigley, who is more of a pocket passer than Nebrich and has a strong grasp of the offense. His top target will be his twin brother Tanner, who caught 79 passes for 1,220 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. The defense returns seven players from a unit that allowed fewer than 14 points per game en route to a second consecutive Northern Region title. The Bruins also feature one of area’s top kickers in senior Nick Weiler. . . . South County is led by LB Devin Vandyke, a shorter, stronger version of his brother, 2010 All-Met DB Ronny Vandyke. Devin will join Ronny at Virginia Tech in 2012. The Stallions must adjust to new Coach Gerry Pannoni. . . . West Potomac returns RB Brandon Johnson, who rushed for 1,134 yards and 16 touchdowns last season and was one of the district’s most dangerous playmakers. The Wolverines also return all four starters from a solid secondary, led by senior DB Tamaric Wilson. . . . Annandale (4-6) returns star lineman Ali Ali-Musa, a force on both lines at 6-2, 250 pounds. The Atoms also return the two quarterbacks who rotated last year, Adam Wattenbarger and Tony Hysjulien. . . . West Springfield (3-7) returns junior RB Jonathan Dunn, its leading rusher last season. . . . Lee (1-9) has installed new offensive and defensive schemes and will look to maximize talented WRs Kyon Taylor and C.J. Lewis. . . . W.T. Woodson (3-7) returns QB Andrew Mackay, who threw for 1,394 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore. The Cavaliers also have threats in WR Marcus Dash and RB Jon Stokes. . . . T.C. Williams (6-4) lost its two highly regarded big men in Jay Whitmire (Virginia) and Joe Massaquoi (Marshall), but it will be led by QB Alec Grosser and RB Za’Quan Summers.

— Paul Tenorio