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I like what Dave Mosbey did in the PAC thread..so mine will be sort of similar. Last Season Standings 1. Washington 6-0 2. Mt. Carmel 5-1 3. Jasper 3-3 4. Mt. Vernon 2-4 (tie) Princeton 2-4 (tie) Lincoln 2-4 (tie) 7. Boonville 1-5 ______________________________________________________ 2017-2018 Preview (rosters are based off max preps, unsure of accuracy) Boonville Pioneers- Returning varsity roster: 1 senior, 3 juniors, 2 soph (roster on max preps seems incomplete) Boonville looks to have a pretty young roster once again following a 3 win season last year. They will have a new head coach Brian Schoonover. The Pioneers could have a long season ahead. Jasper Wildcats Returning varsity roster: 4 seniors, 3 juniors, 1 soph I expect Jasper to be...well, Jasper. They seem to have a good group of veteran players every year. They're well coached by John Goebel, play sound fundamentally, and will make you earn what you get. Despite losing Nottingham, I think the Wildcats will be a factor in the conference race. Unfortunately, they make the jump to 4A and will be up against the likes of Reitz and Castle come sectional time. Mt. Carmel Golden Aces Returning varsity roster: 4 seniors, 5 juniors The big question mark for Mt. Carmel is whether their stud Marcotte will be able to play. An injury before football season sidelined him. Not totally sure what it was. (ACL?) With Marcotte, this team is the unquestioned Big 8 favorite (and a probable Illinois state final favorite), but even without him I think they will be strong contenders. Mt. Vernon Wildcats Returning varsity roster: 6 seniors, 1 juniors, 5 soph Mt. Vernon seems to return a wealth of experience. I expect some improvement from 7 wins a year ago. Based on the recent history though, I'm not gonna call them a contender yet...will have to see more. Princeton Tigers Returning varsity roster: 5 seniors, 4 juniors Princeton has a lot of experience coming back as well. Unlike Mt. Vernon though, I'm gonna say the Tigers will be a force in the conference. They had several close losses last season that they could flip in their favor this year. Vincennes Lincoln Alices Returning varsity roster: 6 seniors, 4 juniors Coming off their first losing season since 2010-11, Lincoln looks to rebound in a big way for 2nd year coach Josh Thompson. They return 4 of 5 starters and 4 others who played significant varsity time. This group struggled to score last season under a new system, but looked really good at times. Despite only winning 8 regular season games, the Alices were able to make it to the sectional championship. I think they can build off that this year, and they should with the talent they have back. Lincoln will definitely be in the mix, but the conference is so experienced it's hard to say where they will finish. Washington Hatchets Returning varsity roster: 3 seniors, 2 juniors, 2 soph Unlike most of the conference, Washington looks to have minimal varsity experience coming back this year. They lost a great bunch of seniors that led them to the 2016-17 Big 8 title. I think the Hatchets will be competitive as always with Coach Miiller at the helm. But with the rest of the conference on the upswing, they will be middle of the pack at best. This is a very general summary of each team. I don't claim to have any inside knowledge other than VL. This is all based off of the teams I saw play last season and the projected rosters. PLEASE CORRECT ME IF YOU SEE AN ERROR. ______________________________________________________________ So there's a lot of experience, but a lot of uncertainty in the conference in 2017-18. This could easily be a year where there's a 2 or 3 way tie for 1st place. If I had to choose now, I would say Mt. Carmel is the favorite. Even without Marcotte, they still return most of the team that went deep into the Illinois tourney and lost to Chicago Orr. They've got a good coach in Tyler Buss who has been there a while. I feel like they've got the right combination of experience, coaching, and familiarity going right now. Of course, I can see Lincoln, Jasper and even Princeton rising to the top.