What's new: Division II has expanded to a 20-team league that includes programs that competed in Division III, Division IV and Division V last season. The division features four conferences, and two teams from each conference will qualify for the playoffs. Here's how the teams are grouped by conference:
East: Kingswood, Merrimack Valley, Pembroke, Portsmouth and St. Thomas.
North: Hanover, Kennett, Laconia, Lebanon and Plymouth.
South: John Stark, Milford, Souhegan, Trinity and Windham.
West: ConVal, Hollis/Brookline, Kearsarge, Monadnock and Sanborn.
Players to watch: Jake Becker, SE/LB (Portsmouth); Drew Bolewski, RB (Monadnock); Shawn Cavallaro, QB (Hanover); Austin Chambers, RB/DB (Trinity); Abe Demaio, LB (Kingswood); Carson Dunn, LB (John Stark); Joe Frake, T/DB (Windham); Carmen Giampetruzzi, QB/DB (Trinity); Steven Kemos, FB/LB (Laconia); Jared Kuehl, LB (Plymouth); Ian Landry, LB (Trinity); Mason LeClair, (Monadnock); Hayden Middleton, PK (St. Thomas); Ivan Niyomugabo, QB (Merrimack Valley); Austin Pelletier, WR/DB (Lebanon); Donovan Phanor, QB/DB (Portsmouth); Kyle Reisert, DE (Plymouth); Christian Rivers, LB (Kennett); Collin Sullivan, QB (Plymouth); Tristan Theroux, TE (Trinity); John Thomas, LB (Plymouth); Brandon Wilfore, OL (Monadnock).
Change at the top: Two teams will enter the season with first-year head coaches: Hollis/Brookline (Rich Bergskaug) and Souhegan (Mike Lochman).
Circle this date: Portsmouth will travel to Plymouth on Oct. 19 for a game that will feature a pair of state champions from last year. Portsmouth won the Division III title, and Plymouth claimed the Division IV championship. It will be the first meeting between the programs since Plymouth beat Portsmouth 35-20 in the 2006 Division III championship game.
Trending: Chuck Lenahan said he plans to step down as Plymouth's head coach following the 2013 season. Lenahan, 70, enters the season with a 345-69-1 record and 19 state championships in 43 seasons at Plymouth.