Quarterback Kyle Dinn is back after throwing for 989 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions as a junior. His favorite target, senior K.J. Walton, is back after hauling in 19 grabs for 259 yards and a TD. Junior Cody Hicks ran for 892 yards and seven TDs last season as a sophomore, while tackle Ben Stephenson and guard Stuart Walsh return as three-year starters on the offensive line. Guard Nick Ingram and center Caleb Hunt are both two-year starters in the trenches, while tackle Matt Smith moves to offense after two years as a starting defensive tackle.
"We feel really good about the young men that we do have back," coach Mark Hartman said. "We're only replacing two on offense and three on defense. We've played young for the last several years, and that valuable game experience has come to the forefront now because these kids are experienced veterans. We feel like things are much smoother as a result. A lot of the teaching is out of the way because we have kids who have been in those spots."
Maconaquah is unable to hold the traditional two-a-day preseason practices due to their year-round academic schedule. That obstacle puts an even stronger emphasis on the squad's summer program. They meet three times a week and play in seven-on-seven games and 11-on-11 scenarios against other programs as much as possible.
"I think we're hitting on all cylinders as far as that goes. But when everyone else is in two-a-days, we're in school and just practicing afterward," Hartman said. "So I think it's good in the fact that we get in a routine a lot earlier than a lot of people, but we don't have as much field time, so it's give and take. Once we get to the end of the season, we have two weeks completely off for fall break, so heading into the second season, tournament time, we always have more preparation time."