Last year's record: 14-0 (5-0 Southland Athletic Conference), beat Cary-Grove 33-26 to win the Class 6A state championship
Head coach: John Konecki, 0-0 first year at school and overall
Assistant coaches: Greg Murray, Jim Jensen, Adam Lewandowski, Greg Schneider, Jason Fundukian, Darian Yarborough.
Returning starters: 9 (2 offense, 7 defense)
Top offensive players: Josh McCaskel, 6-3, Sr., OL; DeShaun Smith, 5-10, Sr., RB (82 carries, 482 yards, 8 TDs); Frank Douglas, 5-10, So., QB; Ray Vallot, 6-0, Sr., WR; Isaac Aye, 6-4, Sr., OL; Anthony Townsend, 6-2, Sr., WR.
Top defensive players: Nyles Morgan, 6-3, Sr., LB (106 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INTs); Chris Slayton, 6-4, Sr., DE (61 tackles, 9 sacks); Rudy Antuna, 6-1, Sr., DT (56 tackles, 2 sacks); Omari Stringer, 6-2, Jr., OLB (33 tackles, 3 INTs); Deon Benton, 5-9, Sr., DB (25 tackles, 2 INTs); Jonathan Draper, 6-1, Sr., DB (72 tackles, 4 forced fumbles); Kwante Bright, 6-0, Sr., LB.
The Times Breakdown: The Warriors lost almost all of their offense and head coach Jerry Verde from a team which scored 542 points en route to the Class 6A state title. Offensive coordinator Konecki takes over and has a good nucleus returning. They lost the top prep wide receiver in the country in Times Offensive Player of the Year and male co-Athlete of the Year Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), who had 81 catches for 1,424 yards and 16 TDs, with 257 yards rushing, 56 tackles and six interceptions. They will also miss his leadership. Crete must also replace quarterback Marcus Terrell (3,347 yards, 40 TDs), wide receiver Lance Lenior (69 catches, 1,113 yards, 15 TDs) and running back Kyle Tilley as well as linemen Jimmy Walsh and Austin Rosenfeldt. Up front, McCaskel leads a big offensive line, and sophomore Franklin Douglas and Luke Hommes are vying for the quarterback spot. Smith (482 yards) is a tough between-the tackles runner and could have a big year. Defensively, one of the top prep linebackers in the country returns in Times Defensive Player of the Year Morgan (106 tackles). Nine return from a tough defense that shut opponents down. Slaydon will play both ways and will stop his share of runners. Stringer moves to linebacker, while Benton and Draper form a great secondary. The Warriors, who have never lost a SAC game, have a tougher nonconference schedule and a target on their backs, but these guys know how to win.
Quote: "We have an extremely competitive schedule where we will be tested week in and week out. We will need to replace the production offensively from Terrell, Treadwell, Lenoir, Tilley and Thomas. Defensively our players will need to become accustomed to the system that has been put in place by the defensive staff." — Konecki
— Compiled by Mike Nieto