This is the 25th preview in my 2015-2016 season preview series. Our final full section preview is of section 7AAAA. For a list of all the season previews and how they are generated, click here.
Section 7AAAA (8 teams)
Defending Champion: St. Francis
- St. Francis
- Duluth East
- Forest Lake
- Coon Rapids
Now to our old friend, section 7AAAA. The section where I can't find the last time they won a game at state. This is the only section in this set of previews where there are no changes in the group of teams participating. Defending champ St. Francis loses 4 of their top 5 scorers. That includes leading scorer and rebounder Blake Moreno. Double figure scorer Robbie Whitney returns along with guards Tanner Carlson and Hunter Trautman plus forward Ryan Svihel. So don't expect that much of a dropoff from the Saints. Duluth East improved from 4-23 to 15-13 last year. They lose valuable contributors Kahlil Green and Will Heyer. Joey Zwak, Quentin Miller and Cody Carlson give coach Rhett McDonald a nice group to build around. Cambridge-Isanti has to replace their top 7 scorers including Kyle McDonald and Collin Terwilliger. Leading returning scorer is forward Luke Johnson at 3.3 PPG. Blaine's size will make them a tough out in the section. Their guard play determines how far they go. The next 4 all have major losses to replace. I see Andover and Duluth East slightly ahead and battling for 3. Forest Lake and Cambridge-Isanti fill the other 2 spots. Coon Rapids and Anoka continue to rebuild. Nik Keller's transfer to Coon Rapids puts them out of the cellar.
Sleeper: Duluth East. Coach Rhett McDonald saw his group make a jump last year. He has some guys who took lumps for a couple of years and may lead the Greyhounds to turn the corner.
Section Winner: St. Francis. I'll take the safe pick here and not underestimate them as I've done previously.