League: Division I Southeast
Head coach: Brian Castro, fifth season (30-13)
2014 record: 7-3 (3-1 Southeast, third)
Returning lettermen: Eight
Returning starters: Four offense, six defense
Base offensive set: Spread
Base defensive set: 4-3
Top offensive players: WR Isiah Macklin (Sr.); WR/RB Austin Warhop (Sr.); WR Brayon Williams (Sr.); OL Eric Brown (So.)
Top defensive players: OLB Brock Hershberger (Jr.); ILB David Berg (Sr.); DT Spencer Racelis (Sr.); DB Nahzi Salih (Jr.)
Top newcomers: LB C.J. Araujo (Jr.); SS David Vazquez (Sr.); K/QB Spencer Cofer (Sr.)
Key losses: RB Albert Lake; QB Christian Lopez; OL Carter Nielson; OL Tafa Vete; OLB Nathan McAloon
Outlook: The Gators have won two league titles in the last three seasons, but must replace some key players, especially on offense, as they enter the 2015.
Gone is three-year starting quarterback Lopez, who passed for 7,115 yards and 65 TDs in his career.
Also gone is first-team all-state running back Lake, who rushed for 1,258 yards and 14 TDs last season, and all-state offensive lineman Nielson.
Green Valley does return a trio of experienced receivers in Macklin (26 catches, 319 yards), Warhop (33 catches, 350 yards) and Williams (29 catches, 402 yards, 5 TDs). The 6-5 Macklin has the size and athleticism to be a game-changing receiver.
Herschberger returns to lead the offense after recording 53 tackles and eight sacks last season. Berg (55 tackles), Racelis (31 tackles, 5 sacks) and Salih (29 tackles) lend experience on the defensive side of the ball.
Coronado transfer Cofer should help, as well. He saw time at quarterback for the Cougars last season, passing for 565 yards and eight TDs with just two interceptions. And even if he doesn’t win the quarterback job, he’ll be a threat as a kicker after booting eight field goals as a junior. He had four field goals of 42 yards or more, including a season best of 54 yards.
“We are a young team with some talented young men,” Castro said. “We need to continue to improve every week in order to make it to the playoffs and make a run at winning our division.”