Coach: Ron Estes, 11th year
Last season: 3-6, 1-4 Lenawee County Athletic Association
Returning letter winners: 21
Returning starters: Offense 7, defense 7
Schemes: Wing T/4-3
Top players: Seniors Lee Keinath, 6-0, 184, RB/LB; Jordan Willson, 6-5, 200, TE/DE; Zech Bostick, 6-3, 260, FB/LB; Dylan Thompson, 6-1, 280, OL/DL; Juniors Dakota Suiter, 6-0, 165, RB/DB; Tyler Watters, 6-1, 235, DL.
Outlook: The Royals are ready to fight back after enduring their first losing season since 2002.
"You can take a year like that and ignore it like it never happened," Estes said. "We've chosen to acknowledge it and fix it. We're not going to bury our heads in sand. We expect to be better."
They should be. Blissfield returns a heap of veteran playmakers -- including Keinath and the bruising all-conference Bostick in the backfield -- and generous size up front. Thompson, who can bench press 335 pounds, anchors both sides of the line. The big question is at quarterback. Sophomore Luke Cassaubon and senior Isaiah Rupp have both practiced with the first team.
"I like both of them, but they're unproven," Estes said. "We've got to be smart and not put that kid in a position where he's got to win a game. He's got to manage it.
"We're going to be very simple. I think we have the type of team that can control the clock. We'll run that clock, and we're probably going to be in some tight games."
2012 BLISSFIELD SCHEDULE
Aug. 24-at Whiteford
Sep. 7-at Hudson
Sep. 21-Columbia Central
Sep. 28-at Hillsdale
Oct. 5-Erie Mason
Oct. 12-at Onsted