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Bowsher favored to win third consecutive crown

08/27/2014, 12:00am EDT

Start top challenger again to Rebels

Craig Lubinski begins his fifth season as coach of the Rebels, who finished 5-0 in the City League the last two seasons. THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH

Bowsher has ruled the City League in the recent past and there’s no reason to think that will change this season.

The two-time defending champion Rebels are looking at a possible three-peat. They have finished with 5-0 league records the last two seasons.

Bowsher was predicted by the coaches in a preseason poll to finish first in the City League race, followed by Scott, Start, Waite, Woodward and Rogers, respectively.

Start coach Tyson Harder thinks the race for the title will be a close finish and could end up offering some surprising results.

“I think the league should be pretty competitive,” Harder said. “I think it’s a lot of Scott from what I’m hearing.”

Bowsher owned the CL the past two seasons with a dominating running game and a staunch defense that could wear down opponents. Mark Washington and Khane Collins literally carried the Rebels on their backs as the two top running backs in the league.

Scott coach Michael Daniels returns a team that had a winning league record and finished tied for second place last year.

Waite and Rogers open the season with new coaches.

Dan Chipka takes over the Indians after handling the offensive coordinator duties at Bowsher. He will try to inject the same kind of success into the Waite program.

“I treasure my experiences at Bowsher and I certainly learned a great deal while coaching there,” Chipka said.

He accepted the job at Waite believing the program has everything it needs to make it a perennial contender for the CL title.

“It was a job that became available and it appealed to me,” Chipka said. “I fell in love with becoming Waite’s head coach. It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”

Start has contended for the title the last two years. Harder is expecting the same kind of effort from his team this season.

“The kids have to buy in and stay focused and the seniors have to lead the younger guys,” Harder said. “Now will they take the next step in the progression?”

Rogers and Woodward are hoping to show improvement from a year ago and surprise some opponents.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.

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