PREDICTED FINISH

1. Clayton Valley Charter

2. Northgate

3. Concord

4. College Park

5. Ygnacio Valley

6. Mt. Diablo

Clayton Valley Charter and its new coach, Tim Murphy, took the Diablo Valley Athletic League by storm last season, going undefeated in league play on the way to the first North Coast Section football title in school history.

With an experienced offensive line, large roster and another year to learn Murphy's system, the Eagles will try to make it back-to-back titles. But they'll have to do it with a new quarterback, a new running back and a defense that was hit hard by graduation.

There are also several other talented teams gunning for the defending champs.

Northgate is coming off its best season in over 15 years and figures to be in the thick of the title race again with the program now on solid footing.

While Concord lost 20 starters, don't expect a complete rebuilding year. QB Mitchell Daniels is back and the Minutemen have a track record of success.

College Park is always a tough matchup, and this year should be no different with Dimitri Salido returning at QB.

Ygnacio Valley and Mt. Diablo will both be looking for improvement after challenging 2012 seasons.

Here's a closer look at the league:

Clayton Valley

COACH: Tim Murphy, second season


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2012 RECORD: 12-2, 5-0 DVAL

TOP RETURNERS: OL/DL Justin Rogers, Sr.; OL/DL Max Connor, Sr.; OL/DL Brenden Crabbe, Sr.; RB/DB Tanner Wraa, Sr.; TE/LB Dylan Jue, Sr.; TE/LB Kristian Mamea, Sr.; WB/DB Ben Davis, Sr.; OL/DL Griffen Bentley, Jr.; WB/DB Zach Dominguez, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: QB Gabe Taylor, Sr.; RB Miles Harrison, Jr.; OL/DL Jax Carter, Jr.; FB/LB Rueben Vega, Sr.; RB/OLB Justin Zapanta, Jr.; OL/DL Paul Farr, Sr.

KEY LOSSES: RB/DB Joe Protheroe, OL/DL Logan Bangert, RB/LB Jesse Medrano, UTL Curtis Grant, LB/TE Spencer Wraa, OL Dakohta Cramer, QB Michael Protheroe

OUTLOOK: The Eagles put up monster offensive numbers on their way to the DVAL title, NCS Division II championship and a spot in the NorCal Division I regional final. They lose the Protheroe brothers -- RB Joe and QB Michael -- but do return much of the line that paved the way for the duo's success. Miles Harrison and Tanner Wraa could be in line for big years. The defense has more spots to fill in after graduating a big senior class.

College Park

COACH: Bill Kepler, 25th season

2012 RECORD: 4-6, 2-3 DVAL

TOP RETURNEES: RB/DB Timmy Jackson, Sr.; OL/DL Sam Armstong, Sr.; LB Dominic Buscaglia, Sr.; WR/DB Jason Johnsonbaugh, Sr.; OL/LB Angel Moreno, Sr.; TE/LB Steven O'Brien, Sr.; QB/DB Dimitri Salido, Sr.; OL/DL Chris Slininger, Sr.; RB/LB Trevor Sprung, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: RB/LB Cory Caldwell, Sr.; RB/DB Deniro Keck, Jr.; RB/LB Gage Messier, Jr.; OL/DL Jordan Martinez, Jr.; OL/DL Tyler Stephens, Jr.; WR/DB Alex Stephenson, Jr.; RB/DB Ray Jackson, So.; RB/DB David Jones, So.

KEY LOSSES: RB Matt DeSilva, OL/LB Sean Hennessey, LB/TE Jaelen Collins, DB Nick Luna

OUTLOOK: The Falcons are aiming to improve on last year's fourth place finish when injuries to key personnel early on derailed the season. Dimitri Salido's return at QB means the offense shouldn't go through too many growing pains. Timmy Jackson and Ray Jackson will be key in the running game.

Concord

COACH: Brian Hamilton, 10th season

2012 RECORD: 10-3, 3-2 DVAL

TOP RETURNEES: QB Mitchell Daniels, Jr.; OL Robert Liu, Jr.; RB Mark Rubio, Sr.; WR Ronnie Algood, Sr.; OL/DL Branden Barajas, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: WR Mason Knight, Jr.; RB Malik Blackburn, Jr.; OL/DL Deven Michael, Sr.; WR/LB Jed Gwynn, Jr.; WR Brevin Schmidt, Jr.; DB Cesar Medina, DB Jayrome Hill, Sr.; OL/DL David Valenzuela, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: RB Olito Thompson, RB/LB Uaisele Manoa, WR Jay Yesin, OL Ivan Hernandez, DL Keenan Mahler, WR/DB Daniel Golden, WR/DB Alex Bates, QB/WR Jacob Daynes, LB Andrew Trimble

OUTLOOK: QB Mitchell Daniels and OL Robert Liu are the lone returning starters on offense and the defense will have brand new faces everywhere. It's the most roster turnover Hamilton has ever experienced at Concord, but he calls it "refreshing." WR Mason Knight and Malik Blackburn could emerge as exciting players. Defensively, the secondary could be a strength. —I think it's a group of guys that recognize how hard they have to work," Hamilton said.

Mt. Diablo

COACH: Bryan Shaw, second season

2012 RECORD: 2-8, 0-5 DVAL

TOP RETURNEES: QB Austin Hunt, Sr. ; WR/LB Darneail Jenkins, Sr.; WR/S Daniyl Hawkins, Sr.; CB/WR Davail Jenkins, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: DL Fifita Hafoka, Jr.; OL Charlie Alofaki, So.; DB Fine Hafoka, So.

KEY LOSSES: RB/C Isaiah Barney; LB/RB James Jarrett, CB/RB Michael Brou

OUTLOOK: Shaw looks for improvement from his group in his second year, though a small roster size remains an issue. The Red Devils passing attack should be solid with the return of QB Austin Hunt and all of his top targets from a year ago, including the athletic Darneail Jenkins. There will be a brand new offensive line, however.

Northgate

COACH: Justin Lowell, sixth season

2012 RECORD: 9-3, 4-1 DVAL

TOP RETURNEES: RB/DB Eric Haynes, Sr.; TE/LB Jake Smith, Sr.; LB/OB Nick Mastrelli, Sr.; C Jeremy Lee, Sr.; S Steven Cuneo, Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: QB Kyle Austin, Sr.; RB/DB Matt Huang, Jr.; DL Michael Ihejeto, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: OL/DL Max Moore, RB/LB Fisi Tavaki, WR/DB Brandon Lee, QB Joe Pelletier, RB Jimmy Sharpe

OUTLOOK: Expectations and goals continue to grow for a Broncos program that has made the postseason two of the last three years. The Broncos are confident they can challenge for the league title again with a strong senior class. Eric Haynes, a three-year varsity player, will be the featured back after sharing carries with Fisi Tavake and Jimmy Sharpe last year. Lowell is excited about his new QB, Kyle Austin.

Ygnacio Valley

COACH: Phillip Puentes, second season

2012 RECORD: 2-8, 1-4 DVAL

TOP RETURNEES: OL Christian Maravilla Sr.; TB Khalil Branch, Jr.; LB Will Rivas, Jr.

TOP NEWCOMERS: OL Alfonso Verduzco, So.; WR Jordan Abernathy, Jr.

KEY LOSSES: QB Jamari Pope, OL Ricardo Verduzco.

OUTLOOK: Second-year coach Puentes is looking for growth from his team this year. A league championship may be a little far-fetched but if the Warriors end up competing for a playoff spot, it will be a successful season.