Coach: Jamie Wellington
2011 record: 4-10
Returning starters: Konner Stevens; Zach Wachholz; Michael Ward; Trenton Whitely
Key newcomers/other contributors: Rashid Alarape; David Solano; Anthony Keiss
Outlook: The Tigers broke into tough 8-AAAAA play last season after previously playing in Class AAA, and they're hoping a year's experience makes them more competitive this spring.
Coach: Tracy Crouch
2011 record: 15-3-1, second round of state playoffs
Returning starters: Oscar Garcia, Sr.; Oscar Lievano, Sr.; Luis Urbina, Sr.; Juan Moreno, Sr.; Juan Carlos Diaz, Sr.; Aaron Aguirre, Jr.; Alexis Montanez, Jr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: Gerson Mendoza, Soph.; Juan Sierra, Jr.; Alex Ramos, Jr.; Ricardo Rubio, Jr.; Jonathan Dowis, Jr.; Mohammed Fofana, Sr.
Outlook: Berkmar was the surprise team of 8-AAAAA last season, shocking the preseason frontrunners with its run to the region championship. The Patriots look to build on that success with players who have already impressed Crouch with their skill level and fitness.
Coach: Danny Klinect
2011 record: 15-4, second round of state
Returning starters: F Adrian Alabi, Sr.; MF Trevor Mooney, Sr.; MF Brahan Gamarra, Soph.; MF/DEF Bryson Dorsey, Jr.; DEF Marijo Gojic, Jr.; DEF Cameron Grassmyer, Jr.; DEF Malik Jalal, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: MF Ebun Terry, Jr.; F Benaiah Shaw, Jr.; DEF Brandon Morrow, Soph.; DEF/F Andres Benitez, Soph.; GK Brandon Schuster, Sr.; MF McCade Bushell, Jr.
Outlook: Defense was a strength in the Broncos' successful 2011 season, which finished with a No. 6 state and No. 48 national ranking, and it should be again this season with Grassmyer, Gojic, Jalal and Dorsey returning. Brookwood also is skilled offensively with Stanford signee Alabi (26 goals the past two seasons) leading the way. Mooney also came on strong last season with seven goals in the team's final five games.
Central Gwinnett Black Knights
Coach: Bryan Allen
2011 record: 11-5-1
Returning starters: F Rigo Gudiel; F Juan Gonzalez; MF Isaac Ramirez; MF Tyler Budd; MF Raul Rabago; DEF Sebastian Botello; DEF Samir Ramic; DEF Willie Ortiz; GK Charlie DeLoatche
Key newcomers/other contributors: F Joseph Nyankum; MF Sean McKeever; MF Belmin Vatres; MF Nate Teklegiorgis; MF Kevin Perez; DEF Erick Morales; DEF/GK Juan Tovar; DEF Azem Cavcic
Outlook: Deloatche, one of only two senior starters, is in his fourth season as the starting goalkeeper, and he's supported by a strong returning defense led by Ramic. Budd leads an experienced midfield while Gudiel and Gonzalez will provide the offensive spark for Allen, a former Central player himself.
Coach: Mike Burrell
2011 record: 13-6-1
Returning starters: GK James Fukartas, Sr.; DEF Landon Kinsey, Sr.; DEF Davian McEwan, Sr.; DEF Caleb Martin, Sr.; MF Mason Davenport, Sr.; MF Nick Sibert, Sr.; F Joey Efford, Soph.; F Joey Garmon, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: Edgar Huerta, Fr.; Hunter Haynes, Fr.; Gio Rodriguez, Fr.; John Mattiuci, Fr.
Outlook: The Falcons lost Ado Junuzovic -- who had 95 career goals and was the Daily Post's 2010 player of the year -- off last year's team, but Burrell will have more depth at his disposal this season. Davenport (seven goals, seven assists) is a hard-working midfielder and Fukartas had six shutouts and a 1.67 goals-against average last season.
Coach: Michael Ebel
2011 record: 4-12-1
Returning starters: MF Mitchell Parker, Jr.; GK Callen Rhodes, Sr.; MF Santiago Munez, Jr.; MF Luke Siegmann, Sr.; F Adam Kremo, Sr.; F Steven Heard, Sr.; DEF Austin Arvidson, Sr.
Key newcomer: F Vincent Suiden, Sr.
Outlook: Grayson struggled in difficult 8-AAAAA last season with a bunch of close losses, but hopes are brighter this season thanks to a veteran team. The Rams have 12 seniors who are battle-tested, plus they got a nice offensive addition in Suiden, a native of Liberia.
Coach: Michael Tolmich
2011 record: 12-10, state semifinals
Returning starters: DEF Abel Nguyen, Jr.; DEF Jose Diaz, Sr.; DEF Nick Minar, Soph.; MF Sammy Korgi, Jr.; F Jonathon Jarrett, Soph.; MF Zach Welch, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: GK Diego Casillas, Sr.; F Jimmy Dyer, Jr.
Outlook: Last year's record wasn't eye-popping, but the Panthers' finish was plenty noteworthy. They reached the AAAAA semifinals before falling on the road to eventual state champion Walton. Tolmich hopes his team can build on that run and get back to the playoffs this spring. Longtime goalkeeper Jack Falle graduated, but the returnees include Jarrett (team-high 10 goals last season) and Nguyen, a stout defender.
Coach: Jim Crase
2011 record: 3-14
Returning starters: DEF Mike Tran, Sr.; DEF Ben Delija, Sr.; DEF Ashton Maycock, Sr.; MF Marcial Rodriguez, Jr.; F Christhian Andino, Jr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: MF Adrian Lollar, Soph.; MF Gabriel Navarro, Soph.
Outlook: A stout defense leads the way for Shiloh this spring as Tran, Delija and Maycock are all veteran players. The Generals also are counting on Lollar to be the leader of a revamped midfield.
South Gwinnett Comets
Coach: Chris Calvin
2011 record: 5-12
Returning starters: MF Oscar Bautista, Sr.; MF Reid Folkard, Sr.; GK Jared Varney, Sr.; F Sekou Thornell, Jr.; DEF Austin Varney, Soph.; DEF Juan de la Cruz, Sr.; DEF Chris Keller, Jr.; F Amar Salihic, Jr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: MF/F Preston Taggart, Fr.; F John Pecos, Jr.; MF Jorge Cuenca, Jr.; MF Derek Denton, Jr.
Outlook: The Comets are aiming for a turnaround season with an experienced team that Calvin praises for its discipline, defensive strength and ball possession. A fairly young team, South will rely on seniors like Bautista, Folkard (a Mercer signee), Jared Varney and Juan de la Cruz for leadership.
Collins Hill Eagles
Coach: Drew Prentice
2011 record: 20-2, state runner-up
Returning starters: MF Eli Carrasco, Jr.; F Emmanuel Raji, Sr.; MF Nomis Cisic, Sr.; MF Amiri Abraham, Jr.; GK Jackson Taylor, Jr.; DEF Mark Riggins, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: F Fabrice Momo, Sr.; DEF Martin Sedarri, Soph.; DEF Edan Mendoza, Soph.; DEF Freddie Maier, Jr.; DEF Andrew Olortegui, Jr.
Outlook: Gwinnett's most successful boys team the past four seasons, Collins Hill was state runner-up in 2008, won state titles in 2009 and 2010 and finished as state runner-up last season. The experience of reaching four straight state championship games will help this team, which will break some new players into the lineup around a returning group that includes dangerous forward Raji (21 goals, nine assists in 2011) and creative midfielders Carrasco (11 goals, two assists), Cisic and Abraham. Riggins is the veteran on defense as is Taylor, in his third season at the starting keeper after posting a 0.856 goals-against average last season.
Coach: Gregg Tavani
2011 record: 8-7
Returning starters: DEF Felipe Morales, Sr.; DEF Edgar Camarena, Soph.; MF Ivaylo Yordanov, Sr.; MF/DEF Luke Torak, Sr.; F/DEF Henry Montoya, Sr.; DEF/MF Kevin Posmer, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: MF/DEF Alan Lopez, Sr.; MF Marvin Gomez, Jr.; MF/DF Oneike Castello, Sr.; F Daye Jack, Jr.; DEF/MF Mauricio Martinez, Jr.; GK Caleb Starovasnik, Sr.
Outlook: A good core of experienced players returns as the Wildcats seek a return to the state playoffs. Tavani likes this team's work rate and its strong group of senior players.
Coach: Jean-Jacques Gregoire
2011 record: 8-9
Returning starters: DEF Ever Menjivar, Sr.; MF Edgar Diaz, Soph.; DEF Marvin Rivera, Sr; MF Ermis Velasquez, Sr.; F Darrell Walters, Jr.; MF Chris Morgan, Soph.; F Cristhian Acosta, Sr.; MF/F Brian Noble, Soph.; GK Mirsha de la Cruz, Sr.; GK Abel Torres, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: MF Jesus Bonilla, Jr.; F Kevin Otokore, Fr.; MF Manny Almendarez, Soph.
Outlook: The Mustangs lost four one-goal region games in their first year in 7-AAAAA and fell short of the playoffs. Gregoire has a much more experienced team this season led by Menjivar, a tough defender, and Acosta, an all-county selection at forward.
Mill Creek Hawks
Coach: Sean Garnett
2011 record: 11-7-1, first round of playoffs
Returning starters: GK Steven Arroyave, Sr.; DEF Stephen Kirk, Jr.; DEF Zach Mruk, Sr.; DEF Ryan Spitler, Sr.; MF Tony Baza, Sr.; MF Tajay Hoppiness, Sr.; MF Kenny Valencia, Sr.; F Nick Muntean, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: DEF/MF Ethan Norby, Sr.; MF/F Tyler Moody, Jr.; MF/F Kyle Arold, Sr.; F Brandon O'Toole, Sr.; F Peyton Sutton, Sr.; DEF Tyler Ward, Fr.; MF Tyler Chiu, Fr.
Outlook: After breaking into the playoffs last season, the Hawks hope to go deeper this season. It helps that Garnett has his deepest and most experienced group with eight returning starters, seven of them seniors. Mruk is a strong returning defender and Muntean is the top returning offensive threat after a six-goal, 11-assist season.
Mountain View Bears
Coach: Stan Carpenter
2011 record: 2-14-1
Returning starters: F Jason Sayers, Sr.; MF/F Dustin Stone, Sr.; DEF Eric Nunez, Jr.; DEF Ben Denman, Soph.; MF Kyle Chesler, Soph.; MF David Illescas, Sr.; MF/DEF Gabriel Lopez, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: F/MF Jonathan Sayers, Fr.; DEF Dylan Harper, Fr.; MF Luke Hicks, Fr.; DEF Zair Sebastian; GK Daniel Gutierrez
Outlook: The Bears won two of their first three matches last year, but then had a rough stretch in and out of 7-AAAAA play. They went winless the last 14 matches of 2011, with their last win coming on Feb. 22. But plenty of those losses were close, and a speedy team returns with higher hopes this spring.
Norcross Blue Devils
Coach: Chris Bess
2011 record: 13-5
Returning starters: GK Clay Bailey, Sr.; DEF Chase Bailey, Sr.; DEF Jacob Greifer, Sr.; F Juan Martinez, Sr.; MF Joel Calvillo, Sr.; MF Jordy Alvarado, Sr.; MF Austin Johnson, Sr.; MF Jesus Contreras, Jr.; DEF Kyle Ahrens, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: F/MF Christian Perez, Fr.; F Costa Lopez, Fr.; DEF Marco Boyso, Sr.
Outlook: Few teams will be as hungry as Norcross, which finished in a three-way tie for 7-AAAAA's final playoff spot last year but lost out on a tiebreaker. The Blue Devils are deep and experienced throughout the lineup, thanks to a roster with 10 seniors and eight juniors. Clay Bailey had a 0.98 goals-against average and 7.5 shutouts last season, Chase Bailey is a strong defender and Martinez scored 10 goals in 2011.
North Gwinnett Bulldogs
Coach: Mike Wentzler
2011 record: 12-8, first round of state playoffs
Returning starters: MF Matthew Melton, Sr.; DEF Daniel Arndt, Jr.; MF Christian Zapata, Jr.; MF Brian Norton, Jr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: DEF James Lee, Jr.; MF Nico Polanco, Jr.; DEF Thomas Perry, Jr.
Outlook: The Bulldogs surged back into the playoffs in 2011, Wentzler's first season as the team's head boys coach. He's hopeful of a return trip this season with a strong midfield led by Melton, an Appalachian State signee. The defense should be solid, so finding the right mix on offense will be a key to the season.
Peachtree Ridge Lions
Coach: Ryan Sutton
2011 record: 14-4, first round of playoffs
Returning starters: DEF Grayson Guldenschuh, Jr.; DEF Michael Valenzuela, Sr.; MF Daniel Rodriguez, Soph.; F Jeremy Rector, Jr.; MF Juan Herrera, Sr.; DEF J.T. Taplin, Sr.; DEF Jake Siracusa, Jr.; GK Daryl Slack, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: DEF Jack Winfrey, Sr.; MF/F Taylor Williamson, Sr.; MF/F Kevin Zuluaga, Sr.; MF Lucas Raposo, Sr.; MF/F Sahil Mahajan, Soph.; DEF Michael Hanna, Soph.; F Evan Pantels, Soph.; MF Raul Diaz, Jr.; DEF/F Marrkus Reese, Jr.; GK Ryan Breon, Jr.; F Jordan Davis, Soph.; MF/F Ryan Fitton, Fr.
Outlook: Sutton likes the Lions' depth, which will be helpful during the 7-AAAAA slate. Rector (17 goals, 10 assists) is one of the area's most feared strikers and Taplin is a lockdown defender.
Coach: Nick Brenner
2011 record: 5-13
Returning starters: DEF Hendhi Angenor, Sr.; MF Brian Argueta, Sr.; DEF Roman Flores, Jr.; MF Kendric Hernandez, Jr.; MF Carter Kioski, Soph.; MF/F Cullen Moss, Jr.; F Semir Pita, Jr.; GK David Torres, Jr.; F/DEF Gem Vang, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: MF/GK Santiago Fayad, Fr.
Outlook: Nine starters return this season for the Longhorns, who hope to be competitive in their AAA region before moving up next year.
Coach: Brandon Manders
2011 record: 10-6-2
Returning starters: F Adante Aguilar, Soph.; F Carlos Gutierrez, Sr; F Miguel Aguirre, Sr.; MF Lionel Burgos, Jr.; MF Esgardo Arroyo, Sr.; MF Edgar Villafuerte, Sr.; DEF Chase Fralish, Sr.; DEF Willy Uriostegui, Soph.; DEF Juan Arroyo, Sr.; GK Baxter Argo, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: DEF Jesus DeLeon, Jr.; MF Christian Lopez, Fr.; MF Matt Bonadies, Fr.
Outlook: Experience isn't an issue for the Wolves, who return 10 regulars from a team that just missed that playoffs out of 6-AA, one of the state's most loaded regions. They feature a number of veterans who are skilled in the attack, while the defense should be equally solid, led by Argo (144 saves last season) in the net. Esgardo had 15 goals and nine assists in 2011.
Coach: Thom Jacquet
2011 record: 17-3, state runner-up
Returning starters: Mitchell Singletary, Sr.; Jimmy Stahlke, Sr.; Stevin Bienfait, Sr.; Cam Johnson, Soph.
Key newcomers/other contributors: Max Gomas, Jr.; Grant Griffen, Sr.; Andy Irwin, Jr; Vishal Patel, Sr.; Nash Wagnon, Soph.; Steven Yates, Sr.; Davis Bryant, Jr.; Will Hamryka, Fr.; Jake Doiron, Fr.; Nathan Ream, Fr.; Miller Kettle, Fr.; George Winfrey, Fr.
Outlook: The perennial powerhouse Spartans, back in the state finals last season, have added depth for what they hope is another postseason run. Replacing the offense produced by the graduated Denzel Clarke and Stewart Abrahart will be tough, but GAC should be stout on defense with a solid core back.
Coach: Bob Gardner
2011 record: 14-4-2, state quarterfinals
Returning starters: F Chris Austin, Sr.; MF Cole Redman, Sr.; DEF Eric Pitts, Sr.; DEF Ryan Thomas, Soph.; DEF Xavier Railey, Sr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: GK Tyler Smith, Sr.; MF Harrison Dunahoo, Sr.; F Ryan Notheis, Sr.; MF Johnny Hardin, Jr.; MF Bailey Pinto, Soph.; MF Andrew Thompson, Soph.; DEF Ben Ungerer, Soph.
Outlook: After a run to last year's Elite Eight, Hebron has the talent for more success this season. Three defenders return to what should be a solid defense, though replacing high-scoring Josh Manga (20 goals last season), a graduation loss, will be tough. Redman (12 goals, six assists) and Austin (seven goals, nine assists) are the Lions' top two returning point producers.
Coach: Todd Henry
2011 record: 16-6, state runner-up
Returning starters: F Caleb McQuaig, Sr.; F/MF Will Lowndes, Sr.; GK Evan Flowers, Sr.; DEF Robby Lyew, Sr.; MF Taylor Henry, Sr.; MF Ted Perry, Jr.; MF Tylor Marshall, Jr.; MF Jared Jones, Jr.
Key newcomers/other contributors: Kareem Adekunle, Sr.; F/MF Josh Platillero, Sr.; DEF/MF Jack Jin, Sr.; F/MF Bokwon Lee, Jr.; MF Zion Gray, Fr.; DEF Harry Heusel, Fr.; DEF Collin Moncrief, Fr.; GK/MF Jake Freeman, Fr.; MF John Rast, Fr.
Outlook: Providence will be missing a few of its veteran players early in the season, giving some of its youthful players a chance to gain experience for a postseason run. The Stars are stronger and deeper, with eight returning upperclassman starters, and should be poised to make another run at the state championship. McQuaig (22 goals, five assists), Perry (15 goals, five assists), Lowndes (eight goals, five assists) and Henry (three goals, 12 assists) shined in the attack last season.
Coach: Billy Coxhead
2011 record: 10-9, first round of state playoffs
Returning starters: DEF Jay Baker, Sr.; DEF Van Fletcher, Sr.; F/DEF Cole Warren, Sr.; F Garrett Busch, Sr.; GK/F Eric Sunderman, Sr.; MF Cort Coxhead, Soph.; MF Connor Pendery, Soph.
Key newcomers/other contributors: GK Carter Flachbarth, Fr.; MF Zac MacKenzie, Jr.; MF Sam Straker, Soph.; MF Drew Sutton, Sr.; MF Miles Moraitis, Jr.
Outlook: Sunderman has been one of the area's top goalkeepers throughout his career, but the senior will play striker this season to help give Wesleyan an offensive boost. The Wolves' goalkeeper spot goes to Flachbarth, a freshman, who will benefit from a veteran group of defenders. The team will be hurt by losing Straker (who had 10 goals and six assists as a freshman) to a preseason injury.