Coach: Wayne Riner (12th year, 122-27).
Last league title: 2011.
Last playoff berth: 2011.
Home field: Dennis Esser Field.
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Projected starters (returners in bold)
OFFENSE POS YR HT WT
Cal Pruitt QB Sr. 6-0 195
Colton Thornton RB Sr. 5-10 165
Tanner Casper WR Sr. 5-9 155
Riley Lyle WR Sr. 6-0 170
Briden Whitby WR So. 5-11 190
Carter Chase TE Sr. 6-1 190
Stefan Davidson C Sr. 6-0 190
Greg Heinen G Jr. 6-0 205
Mark Borgens G Sr. 5-10 180
Mack Hopkins T Jr. 6-4 290
Kelton Syre T Jr. 6-3 210
Garrett Salsbury K Jr. 5-8 160
DEFENSE POS YR HT WT
Kelton Syre DE Jr. 6-3 210
Greg Heinen DT Jr. 6-0 205
Mack Hopkins DT Jr. 6-4 290
Carter Chase DE Sr. 6-1 190
Briden Whitby LB So. 5-11 190
Gunner Vanderbilt LB Jr. 5-11 180
Stefan Davidson LB Sr. 6-0 190
Tanner Casper CB Sr. 5-9 155
Jacob Jenks CB Jr. 5-10 165
Colton Thornton SS Sr. 5-10 165
Riley Lyle FS Sr. 6-0 170
Briden Whitby P So. 5-11 190
Others to watch: RB Gunner Vanderbilt, Jr. (5-11, 180); DE Gage Taylor, Jr. (6-7, 220).
* The defending state champions must figure out how to replace star running back Matt Hadley, quarterback Chandler Salisbury and defensive lineman Tyson Brook.
* The Eagles will have some experience on the offensive line with Davidson, Heinen and Hopkins returning as starters.
* The entire defensive front started at one time or another last season.
* Davidson should be a team leader. He was all-league first-team as an offensive lineman, and second-team all-league at linebacker.
While Riner must come up with some offense, he's not worried about his defense.
"Our defense, from what I saw in spring football and then in camp, it is tough," Riner said.
As for the offense, he says Pruitt has a solid arm, the running backs can run, and the receivers are fast.
Outside of Hopkins and Syre, the linemen aren't all that big -- something Connell has had the past six seasons.
Getting past Royal this season may be a reach, but at least finishing second is not out of the question.
This is likely still a playoff team.