Homewood-Flossmoor (2-7 SWSC Red)
Players to watch: Shaquille Lott, Jr., RH; Marcus Young, Sr., MH; Mike Wallace, Sr., RH; Wyatt Patterson, So., MH.
Outlook: The Vikings have four seniors, five juniors and two sophomores. Young and Wallace are experienced and will have to lead. The younger players will have to step up, as will the seniors.
Quote: "This year, we are hoping to earn some respect in a very tough conference while grooming some of our younger players to continue to strengthen our program for the future." -- coach Brandon Cotter
Illiana Christian (7-14)
Players to watch: Zack Hescott, Sr., Libero; Dale Krygier, Sr., S; David VanDrunen, Sr., MH/RS; Kyle Vander Zee, Jr., OH.
Outlook: Girls coach Nikki Van Dyke takes over and has six seniors and seven juniors. The Vikings are well-rounded and gained experience from a tough season in 2010. Illiana is in four tournaments, which should help quite a bit.
Quote: "We are very excited about this season. We have a very athletic team this year, which makes both (assistant Andy Siersma and me) very hopeful. We have a lot to work on, but the guys are dedicated and ready to work hard. -- Van Dyke
Marian Catholic (8-24)
Players to watch: Jay Hochstetler, Sr., S; Will Craft, Jr., OH; Connor Fagan, Sr., Libero; Dwayne Cecil, Sr., OH.
Outlook: Bob Piekarski takes over and has implemented a jump-and-strength training program. Hochstetler is the most experienced player, while Fagan and Craft are both expected to have good years.
Quote: "Energy and moral are high. It may take some time to settle everyone in, but I am very confident we will have a great season." -- Piekarski
Players to watch: Bobby Walsh, Jr., MH; Garret McGarry, Jr., RSH; Joe McNally, Jr., OH; Brandon Rooney, Sr, S.; Dominick Villa. So., Libero.
Outlook: New coach Marco Quintana has several regulars returning, although they are young. Offensively, the Caravan will be strong. If they can also step up defensively, they could be a force.
Quote: "The strength of a team is each member, and the strength of each member is the team." -- Quintana
Thornton Fractional (2-20)
Players to watch: Gilbert Conley, Sr. MH; Kurtis VanKuiken, Jr. S; Tevin Stephenson, MB.
Outlook: Thornton Fractional has just one experienced player in Conley, but coach Peg Haney has a good junior group. How fast they improve is the key to the season.
Quote: "Our energy level is high and we are working hard in practice. We are looking forward to a competitive and exciting season." -- Haney
Players to watch: Matt Piasecki, Sr., OH; Andrew Herrera, Sr., OH; Sergio Frasco, Jr., S; Edgar Torres, Jr., MH.
Outlook: The Patriots lost quite a bit , but Piasecki and Herrera have experience and leadership.
Quote: "We are looking forward to a great season. A lot of our varsity players from last year graduated, so we are looking at a fresh new team this year." -- coach Kristen Bozhardt
-- Compiled by Mike Nieto