FROM LEFT: Row 1: Stephen Noggle, Billy Wagner, Brooks Kuney, McCauley Frazer, Joey Boggs, Christian McKinney. Row 2: Danny Payne, Logan Brooker, Luke Wagner, Xavier Lowery, Chad Champion, Justin Grapengeter, Miklo Abner. Row 3: Nathan Massie, head coach Paul Kyser, Brandon McDaniel, Justin Ashenfelter, Jalen Towers, Ben Garcia, Mikel Burlew, Dallas Timberman, Quinton Miller, Aaron Schmidt, Josiah Poletta. Row 4: Will McKinney, Joe Shilling, Nic Schieber, Zack VanDyke, Riley McKinney, David Smith.
Coach: Paul Kyser, first year
Last season: 4-6, 2-5 TAAC
Returning letter winners: 13
Returning starters: Offense 9, defense 9
Top players: Seniors Cody Appleton, 5-9, 160, RB-DB; Joey Boggs, 5-10, 185, G-LB; McCauley Frazer, 5-10, 200, G-NT; Kayne Grime, 5-8, 160, RB-DB; Brooks Kuney, 5-10, 210, OT-DE; Billy Wagner, 6-1, 190, TE-DE. Junior Miklo Abner, 5-9, 220, FB-LB.
Outlook: After 28 years as an assistant coach, Kyser steps into his first head coaching post with good numbers as far as returning starters. His main concern, however, is depth beyond his starting lineup.
The Cadets expect to be solid at running back and along the defensive line, and have good speed at the skill spots. Abner rushed for 710 yards and scored 11 TDs in 2011. Kyser, whose team was picked to place seventh in the TAAC, will also rely on juniors Cayden Blaisdell, Logan Brooker, Chad Champion, and Justin Grapengeter for production.
"We're pretty good with our top 10 or 11 players," Kyser said. "But we need to develop some depth, and have some people step up. We also need to stay healthy because we can't afford injuries when our roster is so thin."
2012 HILLTOP SCHEDULE
Aug. 23-at Montpelier
Aug. 31-at Antwerp
Sep. 14-Toledo Christian at Central Catholic
Sep. 21-Ottawa Hills
Oct. 5-at Edon
Oct. 12-at Gibsonburg
Oct. 19-Cardinal Stritch