Promises for the '08 campaign
1. A more competitive team. Sunlake simply was too young and physically outmatched to be a competitive varsity club in 2007. This year, the Seahawks are a bit stronger and older.
2. A jacked-up team for the season opener. The Seahawks host River Ridge, and many believe this will be Sunlake's best chance at a win in '08.
3. Sweetest uniforms around. From the sleek black pants to the teal-trimmed black jerseys to the seahawk on the shiny black helmets, Sunlake makes a pretty fly case for being the area's best-dressed team.
What the Seahawks can't promise
1. A victory. Sure, the Seahawks will be better this year, but how much better? River Ridge, arguably the most beatable team on the Seahawks' schedule, coasted to a 50-0 rout of the 'Hawks in '07.
2. Timetable for success. We don't know when Sunlake will become a viable contender for a district title; it takes longer at some places than others. We do know this: Coach Bill Browning knows how to transform floundering programs (see Springstead, Hernando).
3. A moratorium on blowout losses. Sunlake is only a second-year program. More growing pains are inevitable.
A look at some of the key figures in the Seahawks' 2008 campaign
Primary offensive skill player: RB Mike Shaver. Senior showed flashes of promise down stretch of 2007 season.
Primary defensive skill player: LB Leeroy Thompson. Part-time starter in '07 has shown great improvement, coach says.
Primary offensive lineman: G Kyle Anderson. Browning says this junior is "undersized but very tough."
Primary defensive lineman: DE Jarrett Baker. Anchor of a unit that should make noticeable strides in '08.
Primary special-teams player: P Chris Harrington. Senior left-footed kicker also could shine at flanker.
Voices from the precincts
What some are saying about the Seahawks
"Our goal obviously is to win a game. … And we have to get competitive before we start winning on a consistent basis obviously." — Browning
"I expect Sunlake to be much improved and much more physical than last year. I have tremendous respect for Coach Browning and his staff." — River Ridge coach Tim Stevens
Joey Knight, Times staff writer