The Wolfpack faces significant obstacles in the pursuit of a 5th straight D1 title and yet another NXN berth, but this program is used to making big gains.
The Wolfpack is shaping up to be one of California's best squads ever in 2018, and the strength of their rising junior class says they're not going away anytime soon.
The Dolphins took two big hits up front, one to graduation and one to transfer. But they have a strong transfer in, as well, and they have one of the state's deepest talent pools.
The Matadors return all seven from their 2017 squad and they had an outstanding track season, so I believe they are contenders in D2.
The Lancers only lost one runner from their D2 title-winning, NXN-finalist squad in 2017, leaving them with a great chance to repeat or be even better in 2018.
The Wolfpack girls have even stronger numbers than their counterparts on the boys' squad, and they are in the driver's seat for a repeat D2 title.
The Wolfpack returns a very strong squad plus a major transfer that happened in the spring, and they have enough talent to contend in 2018 and beyond.
The Centurions lost a superstar and another strong senior, but we have data that says this team will be right back in the hunt in 2018.
The Panthers fell just short of the state meet in 2017, but a stellar track season has them back on course for a potential podium finish.
The Mustangs were very good last fall and in the spring without any individual stars, but the sum is great enough to be a podium contender in 2018.
The Gaels lost their top 2 runners to graduation, but they are in a position to reload and repeat their strong 2017 season.
The Bears still have tremendous talent up front, but lost 4 seniors that hurt their depth, and that may set them back just a bit in 2018.
The Stanford brothers have a new running mate, and the addition makes the Mavericks a serious title contender.
The Dragons are absolutely loaded, and may be one of the top 5 teams in California regardless of division.
The Sea Kings return 6 of 7 from the 2nd-place team in Division 3, and they had an excellent track season. This may be the best pack-running team in California this fall.
The deck seemed stacked against the Mavericks in 2017, but they have plenty of returning firepower to try to settle up their unfinished business.
Losing John Bennett hurts, but the Matadors have a ton of returning talent, enough depth for them to be even better than in 2018.
The Diablos have had more success on the track than on the course in recent years, but if the team is healthy this could be a breakthrough season.
The Marauders have 6 of seven back, including superstar Matt Strangio, and added another top 5 runner - plus the desire to win for a huge senior class.
The Bulldogs have a legitimate front five, and if they can develop depth around them this could be a surprise top 5 team in Division 1.
Losing 6 of your top 7 should set your program back, but Loyola may have the depth to rebound and be just as competitive in 2018.
Alexis Neuville leads a talented and deep junior class of Chargers, giving them a two-year window to try to improve on last year's 5th place finish in Division 1.
Don't believe the sign - William Frankenfeld is not slow, and his Jackrabbit teammates will not be slowed by losses to graduation.
Losing two star runners will set any program back, but the Cougars have enough returning talent to be in the top 10 in D2 again this year.
Despite massive losses to graduation and the satisfaction of a season for the ages in 2017, we're not counting the Mustangs out in 2018.
The Eagles will try to recover from the loss of two important seniors to repeat the success of their superb 2017 season.
The Eagles have been working toward this point for some time, and the door of opportunity is open for them in 2018 - and not just in CCS competition.
The Barons are my sleeper pick for 2018, because they return their entire top 8 and had a very strong track season as a team.
The Pirates followed a 2-year progression to finish 2nd in Division 4, and yet they have one of the best top 5's in the state returning intact.
The Dolphins are powered by a big senior class that wants to win in 2018.