The Burlington County Liberty Division remains the most competitive in South Jersey boys' soccer, with three preseason Top 10 teams.

Defending champion Rancocas Valley lost 10 starters but will still contend. Delran moves into the favorite's role, while Moorestown should seriously contend. Unranked Cinnaminson and Burlington Township can never be overlooked.

Bordentown moves from the Burlco Liberty to the Patriot and likely will contend, along with defending champion Holy Cross. Defending state Group 1 champion Palmyra also could be in the mix. Palmyra hopes to get junior forward Ryan Butler (21 goals) back next week from a stress fracture.

Riverside moves to the Burlco Freedom and will be the team to beat, with Burlington City among the contenders. Julio Salas and Ceasar Roman provide offensive punch for Riverside.

Eastern enters as the favorite in an extremely competitive Olympic Conference American Division. Cherokee should seriously contend, along with Lenape.

Washington Township, which returns six starters for first-year coach Shane Snyder, likely will have a competitive team.

Cherry Hill East graduated 14 seniors, so this could be a rebuilding but competitive team. Senior defender Jeff Bowen and senior midfielders Gary Reiff and Seth Levi and Ethan Herman will be East's team leaders.

Defending champion Cherry Hill West and Shawnee should battle for the Olympic Conference Patriot Division. Shawnee must improve an offense that totaled just 29 goals in 20 games.

The National Division appears to be a three-team race among Timber Creek, Seneca, and Bishop Eustace, which will be among the youngest teams in South Jersey.

Defending Colonial Liberty champion West Deptford likely will compete again with Haddonfield and Haddon Heights for the title. Junior goalie Kevin Brockway was a second-team all-conference choice for West Deptford and one of 10 players with varsity experience. Haddonfield is paced by a strong junior class, and Heights forward George Gans (seven goals, seven assists) is the team's offensive leader.

Defending champion Haddon Township is the favorite in the Colonial Patriot. Senior forward Nick DellaValle looks to replace the scoring punch of Haddon Township all-time leading scorer Jay Casey.

Gateway, led by senior forward Danny Pietroforte (nine goals, four assists) and sophomore forward Anthony Colofranson (six goals, three assists), is a viable contender.

Lindenwold, with all-conference forward-midfielders Jaime Bonilla and Orlando Askie, could be vastly improved.

Defending Trico Royal champion Clearview returns just four starters but will be competitive in a division that appears up for grabs. Clearview goalie Steve Keane is out for the season because of injury, but senior defender Brian Burke returns after missing last season with an injury.

Other contenders should be Delsea, Kingsway, Cumberland and Williamstown. Highland returns all four starters on defense, but scoring remains a question.

The Tri-County Diamond Division should be similarly up for grabs, with Glassboro, Gloucester Catholic, Woodstown and Deptford the expected contenders.

With 11 returning letter-winners led by 11-goal-scorer James Banks, Schalick is the favorite to unseat defending champion Pitman in the Tri-County Classic Division.

Defending champion Absegami remains the team to beat in the Cape Atlantic League American Conference Division I, and the same goes for St. Augustine in Division II.

Middle Township won just five games last year in a rebuilding season, but with nine starters back, the Panthers should make a run at the Cape National Division I. So should defending champion Buena and Holy Spirit, coached by former Ocean City standout Chad Severs.

New Sacred Heart coach Mario Monfardini will bank on senior Nick Gazzara (29 goals) and junior Mike Rothman (16 goals) to stay on top of the Cape National Division II. The Lions could be a Top 10 contender in South Jersey.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or