Head coach: Rusty Andersen, third season
2016-17 record: 13-9 (6-4 Southeast, third)
Returning letter winners (starters): Eleven (10)
Top players: QB Caitlin Shannon (Jr.), LB Shawna Slater (Sr.), WR Jensen Boman (Sr.), WR Sydnee Hansen (Jr.), WR/DB Reagan Raimer (Jr.)
Outlook: Halfway through last season, the Cougars were just 4-7. And then something clicked, and the team won nine of its next 10 and captured the Sunrise Region title.
Ten starters are back from that squad.
Shannon (3,073 passing yards, 49 passing TDs, 1,277 rushing yards, 17 rushing TDs) is one of the top returning weapons in the state and has three of her favorite targets returning in Boman (50 catches, 844 yards, 12 TDs), Hansen (44 catches, 711 yards, 15 TDs) and Raimer (36 catches, 461 yards, 11 TDs).
Slater (106 tackles, 10 interceptions) again should be among the leaders on defense.
“Our team is excited about the opportunity to compete against a tough non-conference schedule to prepare us for a strong Southeast League,” Andersen said. “The girls have a lot to prove after a sluggish start to last season and coming up short at the finish.
“There’s a lot of excitement around the program, and we’re ready to get it rolling.”