State Preview: SPSL North

Chris Young

The next conference on our tour is the SPSL North. The league was dominated by Auburn last season. Auburn used a stable of great backs to run over and through most opponents. Some of that talent has graduated; do they have enough returning to repeat?

Players to Watch

S/RB Chris Young, Sr. Auburn
Young is far and away the best player in the conference this season. The Trojan playmaker has committed to play football for the University of Washington next fall. He will spend this fall intimidating opponents throughout the league with his jarring hits.

OL/DT Danny Shelton, Jr. Auburn
Shelton is a beast of a lineman who earned all-conference honors as just a sophomore. He will anchor both of Auburn's lines as they try and replace some senior on both sides.

LB Dylan Zylstra, Sr. Kentridge
Zylstra is a high motor player that makes everyone around him a little better. His highlight reel hits may be second only to Young. Kentridge has moved to a 3-4 style defense this year that should free up Zylstra to really attack opposing offenses.

RB/LB Devin Topps, Sr. Kentridge
Topps was a highly rated and touted player heading into his junior season. He had a disappointing season and a quiet summer on the camp circuit. Still, he possesses the talent to be a dominating force in SPSL play.

WR Cameron McKernan, Jr. Kentridge
McKernan opened eyes at the Competitive Edge Combine in Sumner. He posted the fastest 40 time and best broad jump of any participant. Only a junior, his athleticism has yet to translate into on-field results. However, he is a player to watch as he appears poised for a breakout season.

OL Mike Holzberger, Sr. Kentlake
This big lineman may be the best the SPSL has to offer this season. He has a college sized body and is looking to impress scouts with a great senior season. Kentlake is a bit of an unknown heading into the season; Holzberger leads any hope they have of success.

DL Nathan Herrick, Sr. Kentwood
Nathan is one of two returning all-league performers for the Conks. The offense graduated most of the talent and the KW defense will be asked to lead the way as the season begins.

DB Tristian Askew, Sr. Kentwood
Askew is one of the premier athletes returning in the league. He was an all-conference performer last season and along with Herrick will lead a talented defense. If Kentwood can start the season well we could be looking at another good year.

QB Travis Montoya, Sr. Tahoma
The backup QB from last season figures to be the starter this year. The team will have to replace its top 3 leading rushers and will likely need great leadership from the QB position.

DB/WR Rian Miller, Sr. Federal Way
Miller was second team all-league on both offense and defense. With many talented seniors gone, Miller should be one of the leaders for Federal Way this season.

Conference Prediction

SPSL North Champ: Auburn

Entering this season every team in the conference has at least one major question mark. Teams are dealing with either graduated talent or just a lack of talent on one side of the ball. Even with the seniors that graduated, I still see Auburn as the most complete team in the conference. Chris Young is the only returning starter from a very dangerous backfield. However, with the run heavy offense Auburn is known for I see an easy transition to a new QB. I think defensively they will be more than adequate to slow down opposing offenses. Tahoma is always competitive but graduated every all-league performer including their starting QB. Kentridge has had one of the best defenses in the SPSL for two years but needs to find some semblance of an offense. Kentwood returns some talent from a team that made the playoffs last season. Finally, Federal Way is dealing with the loss of far and away their two best players in Andru Pulu and Andre Barrington.

Let me know in our forums who else you think should have made the list.

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