Heidelberg Lions

Last year: 4-2 regular season, 4-3 overall

Head coach: Brad Shahan (9th season at Heidelberg)

Returning starters: Offense 4, defense 5

Players to watch: QB T.J. Trice (all-conference WR in ’02), TB Chris Roberts (All-Europe ’02), SB Jonathan Williams, OL Jordan Pike, OL Kyle Sandberg, DE Jacob Peterson, LB Chris Jones, LB Brandon Simmons, CB Cory Purnam.

Prominent plus: Depth and experience, according to Shahan. Lions return 17 varsity players and suit up 17 seniors and 17 juniors.

Home field: Next to Patrick Henry Village Elementary School.

Kaiserslautern Red Raiders

Last year: 3-3 regular season, 3-4 overall

Head coach: Clint Robinson (5th season at K-town)

Returning starters: Offense 1, defense 0

Players to watch: OG Jamaal Harris (all-conference ’02); LB Quentin Long, NG Chuck Madden, LB Tony Althoff, CB Corey Payton, FS Julian Smalls, DE Andre Kinard.

Prominent plus: Defense, in capital letters, according to Robinson.

Home field: Next to Vogelweh gym.

Lakenheath Lancers

2002 record: 5-1 regular season, 6-2 overall, European runner-up

Head coach: Tom Wingert (2nd season at Lakenheath)

Returning starters: Offense 7, defense 7, special teams 1

Players to watch: OL-DL Matt Rabon, OL-DL Nick Dybdahl, OL-DL Ryan Kradel, RB-LB James Judge, QB Justin King, P-WR Steven Seavey.

Prominent plus: Leadership, according to Wingert, who’s counting on it in what he sees as highly competitive Division I race.

Home field: Next to high school.

Ramstein Royals

2002 record: 1-5 regular season, 1-5 overall

Head coach: Glenn Porter (returns after 3-year absence for 4th season at helm at Ramstein)

Returning starters: Offense 5, defense 4

Players to watch: DL Shaun Honts, DL Craig Gilmore, WR Keeshawn Carr, WR Scott Jardine, RB Rance Jones, QB Matt Irwin, QB Matt Holifield, PK Austin Izzo.

Prominent plus: Strong, quick-hitting linemen and disciplined work ethic, according to Porter.

Home field: Next to high school.

Wiesbaden Warriors

2002 record: 1-5 regular season, 1-5 overall

Head coach: Darryl Schwartz (21st season at Wiesbaden)

Returning starters: Offense 6, defense 5, special teams 1

Players to watch: RB-LB Paul Fry, RB-LB Edmond Woods, OT-DT Derek Almen, OL-LB, Mike Floyd, RB-S Mike Ganje, RB-S Jerry Kelly, OL-DL Marquel Moody, OL-DL Steven Barber, RB-LB Daniel Villareal, OL-DL Scott Pangrazzi.

Prominent plus: Attitude, cohesion and depth (75 on team), according to Schwarz, who feels all three factors will help “best-focused” team he’s had in 26 years of coaching make a successful return to “good, old-fashioned Warrior football, just like in the ’80s — 3.4 yards in a cloud of dust.”

Home field: Next to high school.

Würzburg Wolves

2002 record: 5-1 regular season, 7-1 overall, conference and European champions

Head coach: Eric Mead (2nd season at Wuerzburg)

Returning starters: Offense 2, defense 1

Players to watch: C Steve Church, OL-LB Niko Temple, WR Sal Mena, TE Jose Costa.

Prominent plus: Young team trying for 4th straight Division I crown will fill holes left by departure of seven All-Europe players and 25 seniors with players from a JV team which has been undefeated the past three seasons, according to Mead, who likes his team’s motivation, effort and discipline.

Home field: Next to high school.

Stripes in 7

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