Erie Mason seniors: (from left): Row 1: Hunter Cole, Bobby Allenbaugh, Jesse Oyerbides, Bret Bodie, Chase Burlen Row 2: David Ghesquire, Andrew Espinosa, Seth Harmon, Eric Belair, Blade Bowman
Coach: Mike Duffey, second season
Last season: 1-8, 0-5 Lenawee County Athletic Association
Returning letter winners: 7
Returning starters: Offense 3, defense 4
Top players: Seniors Blade Bowman, 6-1, 185, RB; Chase Burlen, 5-10, 180, FB; Andrew Espinoza, 6-0, 195, OL; Jesse Oyerbides, 5-9, 165, LB; Juniors Kyle Karns, 5-10, 175, FB; Mike Malik, 5-11, 170, FB; Sophomore Bobby Livernois, 5-11, 190, C.
Outlook: The Eagles endured their second straight eight-loss season with a roster of 30 players last season. This year, they hope less is more.
To gauge who was fully committed to redirecting the program, Duffey implemented a mandatory offseason lifting regimen. The new varsity count: 16.
"Those that wanted to do that showed up," Duffey said. "The other ones didn't."
He is confident, however, in those who did. If the Eagles lack size, they have plenty of speed to run the single wing -- a formation that does not require a true quarterback. Karns, the team's top rusher, is joined in the backfield by many of the key contributors from the school's conference-winning track team.
The Eagles look to be in for another rebuilding season. But from redesigned winged helmets to an overhauled roster, Duffey believes a brighter, new era is coming.
"There's a pretty positive mindset," he said. "The players are looking to change things. We've invested in a lot of new equipment, new helmets, new this and that. We're going to revamp the whole program."
2012 ERIE MASON SCHEDULE
Aug. 24-at Summerfield
Sept. 7-at Dundee
Sep. 21-at Hudson
Sep. 28-Columbia Central
Oct. 5-at Blissfield
Oct. 12-at Hillsdale