Duchesne has more than earned the status of team to beat in Class 1A as the 2013 season approaches.
There's three consecutive state championships.
And a 34-game winning streak.
But coach Jerry Cowan has several spots in his lineup that will be manned by players without varsity starting experience this season.
Of particular concern is both the offensive and defensive lines. Cowan points out that no one, including at tight end, is back as a returning starter.
But Duchesne has weapons that should worry opponents.
At the top of the list is senior quarterback Trent Roberts, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound athlete who is "bigger than any of our linemen," Cowan said.
It goes beyond that for Roberts, who has the skills to run in the wing-T formation as well as throw the ball.
"We'll probably throw more with him than we've ever done before," Cowan said.
Another important skill-position returnee is running back Matt Muir, who rushed for more than 700 yards last season. The Eagles also will have the services of junior back Dylan Despain, who was slated as an important varsity backup a year ago before breaking his leg in the first JV game of the season. Senior wideout Braxton Spencer also is back.
The returnees all will pull double-duty as Roberts (at free safety), Muir (middle linebacker) and Spencer (defensive back) will anchor Duchesne's defense.
"There'll be a lot of new faces out there," Cowan said.
ASSIGNMENT • Class 1A North
LAST YEAR • 12-0 overall, 4-0 Class 1A North
KEY RETURNER • Trent Roberts, sr., QB/FS
PLAYER TO WATCH • Matt Muir, RB/LB
BIGGEST HOLE • Both the offensive and defensive lines.
NEED TO KNOW • Backup tailback Collin Moon moves to shore up the O-line and help the younger Eagles there.