In all there will be 14 seniors in this year's class, and another six juniors on the varsity level in 2013.
"To have twenty upper-classmen on a team, that's the most we've had since I've been here. To have that kind of experience coming back is something we don't have very often, and we're excited about the experience our team has this year," said head coach Russell Lucas.
Despite being a small class in 2012, the seniors were considered to be a good group of leaders for the Pied Pipers. That leadership is something this year's group of seniors hopes they picked up on.
"Their leadership was outstanding. They only had like four or five. Getting to be there and watch their leadership really helped me a lot. We've been together so long it seems like we're kind of like a family," said Blaze Thomas.
"I mean last year was a great year, and we all played together as a team. This year we're looking pretty strong again, and we're all gelled together and we're really close. So, I think we'll be pretty good this year," said Matthew Tittle.
With that leadership and experience comes a group of players that are already up to speed with head coach Russell Lucas' system. That makes things easier for the Pied Pipers during fall practices.
"It is easier when you have an experienced group coming in. We've been running the same offense for a good while, for most of them that's what they know, so we don't have to spend most of our time introducing things because most of our kids understand the basic concepts of our offense and our defense. So, you are able to go ahead and advance that from where you would normally start at," said Lucas.
Hamlin will still have to replace some key players in high-profile positions, like quarterback Taylor Lambert. Coach Lucas says Caymon Georges is ready to step into that role this season, and learned a lot from Lambert the season before.
The Pied Pipers will open the season up against the Anson Tigers on August 29th at Shotwell Stadium in the Champions Classic.