Dunbar's Olu Izegwire falls into the end zone for a touchdown against Ballou. (Toni L. Sandys/WASHINGTON POST)
Favorite: Dunbar (9-3)

Last year’s Turkey Bowl runner-up has a new coach in Ashaa Cherry and talented returning starters.

Contender: Coolidge (4-7)

Behind all the Natalie Randolph hoopla last season was a playoff team with young talent.

Dark horse: Wilson (4-6)

Under new Coach Mark Martin, a longtime assistant, the Tigers could surprise.

Around the league

Dunbar, a run-heavy team in the past, will feature balance this season behind junior QB Lamel Matthews, a three-year starter, and senior RB Olu Izegwire. OL Derwin Gray (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) is quickly becoming one of the area’s most recruited juniors. . . . Coolidge will lean on TE-LB Chuck Gaines, senior WRs Dayon Pratt (East Carolina recruit) and Fellonte Misher (Old Dominion).. . . Wilson’s strong core of juniors includes linemen Kamal Bryant (6-foot, 250 pounds) and Tyrone King Jr. (5-foot-11, 225 pounds). . . . Theodore Roosevelt (3-7) moves to a spread offense and will feature senior RB-DB Blair Crutchfield (5-foot-9, 160 pounds). . . . Cardozo (5-4) returns only five starters. Senior lineman Ross Sarvis, LB-RB Richard Kirkpatrick and WR-DE Antwan Martin will be keys. . . . After being unable to field a varsity team in recent years, Bell is expected to field a team.

— James Wagner