Carl Albert goes into every season with the belief that it could win a state championship.
After last season ended in a second-round loss to eventual Class 5A runner-up Tulsa East Central, this season is no different.
The Titans return most of their defensive starters from last year's 9-3 team, especially in the secondary.
With just two defensive starters weighing more than 200 pounds, Carl Albert's defense is undersized.
But during his tenure there, Titans coach Gary Rose and his staff have regularly turned undersized players into a group of state-title contenders.
“Hopefully we can capitalize on the speed we've got on that side of the ball,” Rose said.
The strength of Carl Albert's defense is likely to rest with its secondary, as it has been in the past few years when standouts like Daytawion Lowe, Tre Porter, J.T. Realmuto and Devin Dobbins played for the Titans.
Alex Polston, Darrain Winston and Taylor Hawkins lead an experienced group of defensive backs.
Polston led Class 5A with seven interceptions last season.
The Titans also return linebacker Kevin Jones, who had 100 tackles last season, and defensive lineman Darren Colquitt, who had 76 tackles and five sacks as a junior.
While much of the defense returns, the work in progress for Carl Albert is on the offensive side.
Quarterback Dillan Dansby returns after a knee injury ended his season prematurely last year.
But while Dansby is likely to see the majority of time at the position, Hawkins will also play the position.
Hawkins, who took over for Dansby last year and will also remain a defensive starter, gives the Titans a different element when he's under center.
Tyre LeBlanc returns at running back.
The question marks on the offense mainly come up front, where guard RayShawn Cato is the only returner.
“The possibilities are really good,” Rose said. “We're pleased with where we are right now. We just have a long way to go to get to where we want to be by the end.”
The Titans will be tested right out of the box, opening the season at defending 5A champion Tulsa Washington on Sept. 2.