League: Division III Southern
Head coach: Tim Dombroski, first season
2014 record: 1-7 (1-6 Southern, seventh)
Returning lettermen: five
Returning starters: four offense, four defense
Base offensive set: Spread
Base defensive set: 5-3
Top offensive players: QB Christian O’Kelley (Jr.); WR David Golden Jr. (Jr.); RB Eli Carrington (Jr.)
Top defensive players: LB Dawson Thomas (Jr.); S Alex Neider (Jr.)
Top newcomers: WR David Golden Jr. (Jr.)
Key losses: OL/DL James Gentile
Outlook: Calvary Chapel hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006 and has gone a combined 5-20 over the last three seasons. The drought probably won’t end this season.
The Lions only have 17 players on their roster and none are seniors, so many positions will be filled by underclassmen.
Calvary Chapel also lost its only senior over the summer in Gentile, who was an all-league selection on both sides of the ball. The standout lineman moved to Hawaii.
On the bright side, O’Kelley returns as the team’s signal caller and will get plenty of help from newcomer Golden Jr. and Carrington on the offensive side.
Thomas and Neider, both juniors, will be the anchors on defense. The two hope to refine a defense that surrendered 30.3 points a game last season.
“Even though we have a young and inexperienced team, we are motivated to prove a point,” first-year coach Dombroski said. “This is a great opportunity for us to draw a line in the sand and start building something special by setting a trend to do things correctly from the beginning.”