Lena-Winslow and Eastland-Pearl City have carried the torch of the NUIC the past decade, winning a total of three combined state championships in the 1A and 2A ranks. The two programs have different expectations going into the 2016 season.
The Panthers started last year with a 10-0 record going into the second round of the 1A playoffs, and then their season came to a screeching halt and end in a loss to Orion. Le-Win brings back star running back Rahveon Valentine, senior quarterback Tanner Lawfer, and a motivated group eager to rewrite last year's ending.
The Wildcatz had a rough go in 2015, finishing 2-7 after winning the 2A state title with a 14-0 undefeated run in 2014. E-PC is slowly building up the program, and will have seniors Brighton Haverland and Keegan Schubert leading the way as holdovers from that title team, when they started as sophomores.
Lena-Winslow starts the season at Pearl City next Friday night in what will be an electric atmosphere between the conference rivals.