"Their really high. It's my senior year. I mean, I just want to play like we're one team, one family, like was always have. I'd really like to win district. It's been a long time since it's happened," said linebacker Josh Hale.
The Cougars need to replace plenty of talent off of last year's team, including four players that went on to play division one college football. Most notably would be quarterback Lorenzo Joe, who is now with the Texas Longhorns.
Senior David Ruot is poised to take over under center this year after missing the entire 2013 season due to injury.
"I'm out there trying to lead my team. I've got guys around me that can help me lead, but for the most part I've got to go do it too," said David Ruot.
"He's got to keep working. That's what it is, it's a progressive type deal. I thought he was right where he left off in the spring, and got to be able to take it day by day, and keep moving forward. We're really excited about him being our quarterback," said head coach Todd Moebes.
Helping protect Ruot this year is a trio of offensive lineman, Jonathan Nicholson, Hutner Hawks, and Jacob Vines. The three anchors of the Cooper offensive line started 13 games last season, and that experience will be valuable in 2014.
"We just know each other. We know who's going to step where, and how their going to do it. That chemistry makes it a lot easier to go through a season, and be dominant and explosive," said Hunter Hawkins.
"Playing in the trenches, that's where the game is won. Them being able to rely on that experience, as well as help out some of our newer guys that are in those roles is going to be huge," said Moebes.
Cooper will also have to replace the offensive production of running back Trey Dye. Look for last year's back-up, Skyler Wilson, and Kristian Breedlove to take over in the Cougars backfield this season.
The Cougar defense will also be more experienced this year with the return of linebackers Hale and Nick Russell. There's also plenty of players returning in the defensive secondary from a unit that was relatively young a year ago.
Moebes' squad is picked to win their new district this year, but still has plenty of questions to answer before the season starts. Those answers will come from two-a-days.
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