Coach: Leon Evans, first year
2007 record: 1-9 (1-5 Northeast)
Returning starters: Three offense, five defense
Top players: RB Tone Gatewood (Sr.); WR/DB Ezaevin Williams (Sr.); OL/DL Brandon Lauria (Sr.); TE/LB Darius Smith (Sr.); WR/ DB Steve Van Orden (Sr.); DB Jordan Harrison (Sr.); OL Chris Eliason (Sr.); LB David Tufele (Sr.)
Top newcomers: DL DeAndrew Williams (Sr.); RB DeAndre Smith (Sr.); WR Charles White (Sr.); QB JaQuorrey Williams (So.)
Outlook: Evans takes over a program that has had little success in recent years, winning a total of five games in the last three seasons.
Evans led Desert Pines to the state title game in 2002 and said changing the losing attitude is the biggest thing.
“They kind of were defeated before they stepped on the field,” Evans said. “Now they believe in themselves.”
Evans said Gatewood and newcomer Smith will give the team two solid options at running back. White, another newcomer who was a key player for the basketball team, gives the squad an athletic target at receiver.
A young offensive line will need to improve quickly for the Sundevils to contend.