Inside the Trojans
Last season: 2-8
Returning starters: 14 (seven offense, seven defense)
Returning offensive leader
Gunner Grider, Sr., QB. 40-117-819-5-3 passing, 54-67 rushing, 4 TDs.
Returning defensive leader
Ian Hardy, Jr., DB. 35 TKL, 3 passes broken up.
La'Kice Brooks, Sr., RB/LB; Gunner Grider, Sr., QB/DB. Both players will see the bulk of the ball-handling duties. They're quick, smart and have grown through the program.
He's got next
Troy Welman, Jr., OL/DL. As the center, he anchors a line that has made great strides through the summer. He'll be a solid wall to keep teams off of his QB Grider.
The Times' breakdown
Highland is hoping the changes made by former assistant and new head coach Trent Grider will translate into even more wins. The Trojans were .500 in 2004 and haven't had a winning season since going 7-4 in 2001. "We've got to get that first win," Grider said. "That's why I hired three new coaches that all came from winning programs. They tell them what to do, and you know that it works." The Trojans will run more, have changed up the defense, and expect that to translate to more wins. The Highland coaching staff is happy to find out that every player has bought into the new system and believes in the path the team is taking. — Hillary Smith