The Vikings graduate a stellar class that led them to back-to-back titles, but their odds at a three-peat look promising thanks to a terrific crop of freshmen poised to make an instant impact.
After winning 3 consecutive titles the Blue Devils have finished runner-up at the hands of Dundee the past couple years, and all early signs indicate their storied programs are on a collision course to meet in the finals again this season.
The Tigers don’t have the high-end firepower of Dundee or Richmond, but their lineup is extremely solid from top to bottom with a high degree of malleability that will make them a threat to beat anyone in D3.
#4 Grand Rapids CC
With 3 defending state champs and 3 additional placers the Cougars have all the studs they need, but they also have a lot of holes to fill in order to improve on last year’s quarterfinals exit.
#5 Birch Run
They lose a couple of hammers in the middle of the lineup, but the vast majority of last year’s team is back and the Panthers have enough talent to make the semi’s and compete with anybody in D3.
#6 Swan Valley
They lose several key starters and have some holes to fill, but this is another very strong Vikings squad that has a good chance of making a second straight appearance in the semifinals.
#7 Chippewa Hills
The Warriors have been one of the state’s deepest programs for a while, and this year’s lineup should be extremely balanced and well-rounded with enough firepower to win a dual at team state after falling in the quarters the past three years.
The perennially top-10 Falcons have a stout senior class and plenty of up and coming talent to fill in around them.
#9 Mason County Central
Last year the Spartans broke out with a regional title and this year’s team should be even better with the majority of their starters returning including a couple of state placers.
The starters they did lose were hammers, but the Tigers bring back the majority of last year’s team and should contend for a regional title.
#1 New Lothrop
The Hornets broke through and won a title last year, and this year's squad should have enough talent to overcome heavy graduation losses and make a run at repeating.
The Tigers historic run of 5 consecutive came to an end last season, but they are still very much a top team with enough talent and experience to win their 6th title in 7 years.
As has been the case in recent years this season it appears to be an extremely competitive race for the D4 state championship, and by no means would it be a shock if the Panthers were to knockoff New Lothrop and/or Hudson.
The Blue Devils took a big step forward last year and following minimal graduation losses they will have the best senior class in D4 and are legitimate contenders to win it all.
With 9 state qualifiers and several others with experience in the starting lineup the Raiders have scary upside and could be a darkhorse to knock off anyone and make a finals run.
The Dutch were a top-10 team in D3 over the past couple years, and despite significant losses to graduation they have enough depth to be a top team in D4.
#7 Carson City Crystal
They are on the rise following back-to-back regional titles, and this season's Eagles team could very well be the best of the bunch.
The Spartans have plenty of returning talent and seem well poised to win a 2nd consecutive regional title and return to Battle Creek.
The Vikings only graduated one starter and will be much improved with a good shot of winning their 2nd regional title in 3 years.
The Panthers have a lot of holes to fill and will rely heavily on their studs to maintain their status as a top-10 team in D4.