With nine returning starters on each side of the ball returning from a year ago, Southmoore expects better than a 5-6 record this season.
“We feel like we're a top 10 team,” Senior tight end Jackson Stallings said. “We're not as deep, maybe, but if we can stay pretty healthy, we feel like this group can get us there.”
Stallings leads a talented group of skill-position players that return for the SaberCats, who lost to Tulsa Union in the first round of the playoffs a season ago after a 5-5 regular season.
In addition to its large stable of returners, Southmoore should also be boosted by a district change that takes it out of a district with Broken Arrow and Jenks and into one headlined by Edmond Santa Fe and Lawton.
In addition to Stallings, who had more than 500 yards receiving last season, the SaberCats return quarterback Tre Edwards (1,469 passing yards and 15 touchdowns) and running back Karltrell Henderson.
Henderson, despite splitting time with Andrew Long, who is now a freshman football player at the Air Force Academy, rushed for nearly 1,000 yards last season.
But Henderson is being pushed by a pair of juniors — Pierce Spead and Reginald Dantzler.
“Reginald is a smaller-type back that's a slasher while Pierce is built like Karltrell,” Brickman said.
Henderson is 5-foot-9, 201 pounds.
Edwards, who is committed to Arkansas for baseball, will also have plenty of targets in the passing game.
Junior Jalen Adams plays strictly offense and figures to stay on the field for virtually every offensive snap.
Seniors Nick Ward and Johnathan Martin both also play safety and will rotate at the other wide slot.
Junior Jaelon Walker figures to be a versatile threat for Southmoore, seeing time in the slot as well as moving to the backfield when the SaberCats go to a two-back formation.
“He gives us versatility that we haven't really had lately,” Brickman said. “We really haven't been able to use the same guy there, so that'll make it easier on us not having to rotate guys in and out.”
Up front, Southmoore suffered a big blow in its first scrimmage when senior Drew Nickell, slated to start at right tackle, was lost for the season with a broken leg.
Jake Spradling moved from left guard to replace Nickell while junior Dakota Haynes stepped in at left guard.
“We'll still be all right there as long as we don't lose anybody else to injury,” Brickman said.
The SaberCats also figure to be better on defense, where outside linebacker Corey Keyes, who Brickman calls the best tackler on the team, and inside linebacker Terrance Bonner, who had 119 tackles as a junior, lead the way in the SaberCats' 3-4 defense.