Favorite: Whitman (7-4)

Vikings offense will highlight senior RB Val Djidotor (1,063 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns).

Contenders: Churchill (5-5), Walter Johnson (6-4)

Bulldogs have 16 returning starters, while the Wildcats are coming off their first winning season in 12 years.

Dark horse: Bethesda-Chevy Chase (6-4)

The Barons averaged more than 22 points per game last season.

Around the league

Senior Michael Flack, a wide receiver on last year’s playoff squad, steps in at quarterback for Whitman. . . . Churchill has enough athletes on both sides of the ball to compete with anyone in the league. The Bulldogs have size up front, led by 6-foot-4, 305-pound senior lineman Karou Diakite, and offensive speed around senior QB Lansana Keita. . . . Walter Johnson is weighing several options to replace QB Cole Ahnell (Dickinson), while LB Andrew Pitsenberger leads the defense. . . . Bethesda-Chevy Chase’s offense was a strength last season, but the young squad enters 2011 with a few holes to fill. Senior Nick Halo and junior Jordahn Brown, both starters in the secondary on defense, are in the mix to quarterback the triple-option attack. . . . Wootton (2-8) struggled in its first season under Eddie Tolliver but brings back an experienced squad, especially on offense. Senior QB Chris Papadopoulos should have plenty of time to execute the spread offense with four returning offensive linemen protecting him. . . . Carlos Smith takes over at Kennedy (0-10), which moves up from 3A. The Cavaliers, who were shut out six times last season, will split carries between seniors Chris Gardner and Donovan Price.

— Eric Detweiler