There are still a few players on the Hennessey roster who have been a vital part of the Eagles' back-to-back Class 2A champion, but it's hard to find one more valuable to this year's success than Levi Hill.
The 6-foot, 195-pound running back has accounted for more than 3,000 yards and 37 touchdowns in his career, primarily splitting time with now-graduated Ivan Moreno.
So the full load falls to Hill this season, especially early, while new quarterback Dylan Hatchel gains some experience.
First-year coach Rick Luetjen also feels the Eagles have good size on the offensive line, which could help the run game even more.
Kale Hajek, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior will be the anchor up front, and senior tight end Car Aguirre will provide a blocking boost as well.
Though Hatchel, a junior, is a new starter at quarterback, he has been starting in the defensive backfield the last two years.
DOLLAR TAKES OVER EXPERIENCED GOLDBUGS
As a new coach coming in, it's hard to ask for more than 17 total returning starters. That's exactly the situation Bruce Dollar walked into at Alva, with nine back on offense and eight on defense for the 29-year coaching veteran.
Among the returning offensive starters are quarterback Ty Hooper and receivers Riley Hess and Cody Forell, as well as tight end Pfleider.
Pfleider, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior, will also play a vital role leading the defense at linebacker.
PARKER, MCDONALD POWER NEWKIRK OFFENSE
If you're looking for a potential breakout player in 2A-1, keep an eye on Newkirk running back Bryson Parker. The 6-foot, 195-pound senior is a four-year starter, who averaged 5.5 yards per carry over 102 touches last year and will be the featured back on an offense with seven returning starters.
He'll share the backfield with another returning starter, quarterback Brendon McDonald, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound junior.
Newkirk's schedule sets up well for the team to gain momentum before playing four of its toughest games in the final five weeks of the season.
By Scott Wright