Don't expect much rest for the Cottonwood High starters.
Greg Croshaw, who is in his second year coaching the Colts, is leaning hard on his starters to be up for the challenge of playing both offense and defense.
"It will be the 50-50 guys that make the difference," Croshaw said. "Our ability to go both ways will keep us in the games. We'll just have to be careful about injuries."
Tevita Gerber will take over at quarterback for Cooper Bateman, who now is at the University of Alabama. The 6-foot-2 Gerber has a strong arm and good field vision. Croshaw expects the junior, who is a standout pitcher for the baseball team, to execute the spread offense with ease and authority.
"He's got a real good arm and makes good decisions," Croshaw said. "He's a fine player and can work well inside of the pocket."
Gerber's top target will be Curtis Bryner. The senior wide receiver is a threat from anywhere on the field with his ability to get open and make plays.
"Curtis runs like crazy," Croshaw said. "He can get a lot of separation from the defense. My guys are battle tested and ready to play."
Cottonwood opens the season Aug. 23 when it hosts Olympus.
ASSIGNMENT • Region 2
LAST YEAR • 3-8 overall, 2-3 Region 3
KEY RETURNER • There is a lot of pressure for Tevita Gerber to air out the ball for the Colts. The junior quarterback is effective inside the pocket and able to throw the ball downfield.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Wide receiver Curtis Bryner is taking his speed from the soccer field to the gridiron. Croshaw is expecting Bryner to be a big playmaker for the Colts.
BIGGEST HOLE • Depth. While strong on both sides of the ball, injuries could derail Cottonwood's hopes of advancing deep in the season. Players need to stay healthy.
NEED TO KNOW • Cottonwood will have upwards of seven players going both ways.