A-listers Blake Kennedy
Considered the team's possession receiver, the senior returns after a nine-touchdown season as one of the biggest scoring threats in the county. Kennedy won't impress with his size or speed, but his ability to make catches in traffic will be a valuable asset in the new spread offense.
First-year coach George Edington thinks the senior quarterback was the most improved player during the offseason. Spending much of his time in the weight room and improving his footwork, Burdick's best feature may be his intellect.
Played outside linebacker last season and despite his 5-5 frame was considered Lennard's biggest defensive threat. Martinez may move to strong safety to better suit his abilities, but will fill a leadership role wherever he is on the field.
Rising star Tevin Abbney
Led the team in total rushing yards as a freshman and will receive the bulk of the carries this season. Lennard struggled on the ground last season so establishing Abbney early is a priority.
Stunt man Trenton Ford
Guy who does the dirty work
If a ball is loose on the field, the senior defensive end likely will be the one to come away with it, either in the open field or in a dogpile. Ford, of the hardest-hitting Longhorns, also is the most likely to cause a fumble.
Three things the Longhorns need to avoid
1. Scarcity. By the end of last season, the Longhorns had fewer than 40 varsity players. Edington anticipates 60 this season with only two or three playing both sides of the ball.
2. Special-teams miscues. An Achilles' heel of the team last season remained prevalent during the spring. A fumbled snap on a field-goal attempt resulted in a scoreless tie with Tampa Catholic.
3. Initial hits. Wins were elusive last season and the battle in the trenches played a major part in their struggles. The main focus throughout the summer and preseason was controlling the line of scrimmage.
"They gave us all we could handle last year, and this year when we go to their place, I expect them to be in the thick of the district race." — Tampa Catholic coach Bob Henriquez
Brendan Galella, Times correspondent
Coach: George Edington (first season) | Last season: 1-9 | Class: 2A, District 5 | Colors: Burnt orange and white