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High School Football / Countdown to Friday Night Lights -- Class B South

Who's who: The six-team division includes the Dunkirk Marauders, East Aurora Blue Devils, Eden Raiders, Olean Huskies, Pioneer Panthers and Springville Griffins.

This year's alignment shift: In a season in which many divisions look different than last year, every team in B South played in the division last season. However, the big news here is who isn't here -- traditional power Lackawanna moves over to B West. Class B again has three divisions, each of them reduced from seven to six teams this year. While B South keeps its name, the other two have changed: B Central and B North are out, replaced by B East and B West.

Last year's champion: Pioneer won the division title on a point-differential tiebreaker after a zany Week Seven in which Eden upset Lackawanna and left the top trio all at 5-1. Pioneer lost in the Class B semifinals to visiting Lackawanna, 34-8.

2010 rewind: Lackawanna was the highest-ranked of the B South teams all year, with Pioneer next by virtue of an early shutout of Eden, but the Raiders' win over the Steelers tied everyone up at the end. Eden lost to Burgard, 26-0, in the B quarterfinals at All High Stadium.

Last year's records: Pioneer 5-1, 7-2; Eden 5-1, 7-2; Dunkirk 3-3, 4-5; East Aurora 2-4, 4-5; Olean 1-5, 2-6; Springville 0-6, 1-8.

2010 All-Western New York underclassmen: Pioneer junior LB Tony Lock and East Aurora junior LB Jon Alston were honorable mentions.

2010 all-league first-team underclassmen: Pioneer junior LBs Lock and Corey Vail; Olean junior RB Maleke Fuentes and Eden junior K Ryan John.

Pre-snap read: With Lackawanna gone, the focus obviously turns to Pioneer and Eden. The Panthers have several impact players returning while Eden will certainly continue to grind down opponents, as it has done since Chuck Tilley took over. The remaining teams are looking for a breakthrough year.

Week One must-see games: All teams are kicking off with a nonleaguer, and there are some dandies. Olean hosts Bradford (Pa.) in one of the nation's oldest rivalry games on Friday night, while Saturday sees fun early clashes in Pioneer at Burgard, Silver Creek at lakefront neighbor Dunkirk and East Aurora vs. East at Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion.

Scrimmage Saturday: The first day teams can scrimmage is Saturday. Eden and Springville will join Tonawanda, West Seneca East and host Cheektowaga at 9 a.m. East Aurora lines up against Fredonia and Hamburg at host Jamestown at 10 a.m while Pioneer is at Salamanca at the same time. Coaches should email with scrimmage updates, which is available at the Prep Talk blog at

At Watch the first PrepTalkTV episode of the 2011-12 season as Lauren Mariacher reported on the first day of practice, check out video interviews with 25 coaches and review the complete week-by-week schedule.

Live chats kick off next week: The first of our weekly Wednesday night live chats will be Aug. 31 at 8 p.m. at

The countdown continues: B East (Thursday), B West (Friday), A South (Saturday), A North (Sunday), AA South (Monday), AA North (Tuesday), Monsignor Martin (Aug. 31). Review them all -- including classes C, D and DD -- at

Season preview coming Sept. 1: The annual preview issue will have capsules and schedules for all 82 teams in Western New York along with feature stories, a must-see cover and everything else one needs to know about the 2011 season.

-- Keith McShea

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