As classes wind down and summer football heats up, MaxPreps is excited to release its annual Preseason Top 25 Early Contenders.
Out of the nearly 16,000 high school football teams in the country, here’s a look at the cream of the crop heading into the summer.
25. Butler (Matthews, N.C.) - Full preview
Strengths: Experience will be the hallmark of the 2012 Butler squad. It’s led by numerous three-year starters, including quarterback Riley Ferguson, linebacker Peter Kalambayi and receiver Uriah LeMay. That nucleus led Butler to a state title in 2010.
Question marks: The defense returns key players both in the box as well as in the secondary. However, the unit allowed 40 points in a season-ending loss to Page last season, so it must improve if Butler is going to reach its potential and win another Class 4A state title. Grant Polofsky and Corwin White will flank nose guard Darrin Dubose in Butler’s 3-4 scheme. If they can get enough penetration up front, it should allow Kalambayi and the linebackers to make plays. The secondary, with three returning starters, should be solid.
Outlook: On paper, this team is comparable to the 2010 team in terms of who is returning. Ferguson, Kalambayi and Lemay all have All-American potential. Last year was the first year as head coach for Brian Hales. With his feet firmly planted as his second year begins, Hales faces great expectations but has the pieces in place to back it up.