Chesterton lost plenty of firepower in quarterback Chris Katsafaros, wing back Joe Troop and receiver Matt Holba, but the Trojans certainly aren't lacking in offensive weapons.
Cole Teal saw time under center as a sophomore when Katsafaros was hurt, fullback Jon Horvath is a proven inside runner and pass catcher, and wing back Avery Beeks is primed to assume a feature role.
"It's a good nucleus to work with," coach Mark Peterson said. "We're probably going to have to grind it out a little more, but the face of the offense isn't going to be a lot different. We're going to spread the wealth."
Alex Katsafaros and Colin McEuen will also see backfield reps, with Max Benoit, Steffan Dines, Davielle Stewart and Logan Hofferth leading an inexperienced receiving corps. Matt Keator, Patrick Freeze and Connor Smith head a senior-laden line.
"That will bode well," Peterson said. "They've been in the fire. They know the way."
-- Jim Peters
Vikings searching for new lead back: Andrew Kittridge and Stephen Simms combined for 1,634 rushing yards last season. Unfortunately for Valparaiso head coach Dave Coyle, neither of the two bruising backs return for the Vikings this season.
Coyle began his second season as the head coach at Valparaiso on Monday morning and finding replacements for Kittridge and Simms is one of the top priorities over the next three weeks.
"You don't replace a Simms or a Kittridge," Coyle said. "We're simply trying to maintain and to find some guys who maybe in a few years we'll say we can't replace them either."
Senior Mark Johnson is the leading returning running back with 58 rushing yards while Aaron and Adam Miller combined for 54 yards last season.
"To mention anyone by name would be premature right now," Coyle said. "We'll take a closer look and this could be a work-in-progress. We might have some guys pop up as this thing goes along this year."
-- Paul Oren
LaPorte going "All In" with youth: Coming off a disappointing 1-9 season, LaPorte coach Bob Schellinger adopted a new manta for his football team.
The phrase "All In" is printed on every workout shirt and plastered on signs that line Kiwanis Field.
With an experienced junior class and a talented group of sophomores, Schellinger is eager to improve on last season's mark.
"Our juniors saw significant playing time last year and with their experience comes some guarded optimism," he said. "We've got a lot of talented, younger players that we expect big things from in the coming years."
One of the hottest battles in training camp is at quarterback where sophomores Eric Mazany and Brandon Sickmiller are expected to compete for the starting spot.
-- Paul Oren