Whether the move from four classes to five classes helps or hurts the Estherville Lincoln Central Girls Basketball Team remains to be seen.
While coaches generally concentrate on one game at a time, fans like to look ahead to see what could potentially happen.
After consecutive trips to the Class 2A State Tournament, the Midgets are ranked third in the preseason Class 3A ratings this past week.
In the playoffs this season, the Midgets' talented senior class won't have to see rival Western Christian, which remains in 2A after knocking ELC out of the tournament and going on to win the state title.
However, both the 2012 Class 3A champion Davenport Assumption and runner-up MOC-Floyd Valley are ranked ahead of the Midgets.
Assumption defeated the Dutch 59-32 in last season's state championship game.
Assumption returns its top three scorers-Danielle Moore, a 5-8 junior who averages 12.4 points per game including 32-of-72 from three-point range; Hailey Shneden, a 6-2 post who averages 10.7 points per game and had 124 blocked shots; and Kate Fenelley, who averaged 9.3 points per game while shooting 52-of173 from 3-point range. Assumption also had a 6-3 junior, Danielle Cabel, who averaged 5.3 points per game a year ago.
MOC-Floyd Valley returns its top two scorers. Alexis Conaway, a 5-11 junior, averaged 18.9 points as a sophomore while shooting 31-of-69 from 3-point range. She also led the team in rebounds (201), steals (115) and blocked shots (62). Emily McDonald, a 6-foot junior, averaged 8.7 points per game last season. Another possible returning offensive threat is Rylee Yaw, who made 31-of-102 3-pointers a year ago.
While ELC can put five starters on the floor that can match up well with most any high school team, depth will be a key development for first-year coach Tony Klein.
Also while Assumption and MOC-Floyd Valley are a pair of top contenders, along with the Midgets, for a state title, there's always the possibility of an up-and-coming team.