Coach: Jacob Kothe (eighth year)
2007 record: 6-4 (2-2 Southern League)
Returning starters: Five offense, two defense
Returning letterwinners: 17
Top players: QB/WR/DB David Sperry (Sr.), LB Brette Lubbe (So.), DT Evan Newton (Jr.)
Top newcomers: DL/OL J.J. Buttar (Jr.)
Key losses: LB/RB Garrett Sherwood, QB Max Done, WR/DB Conner Maloney
Base offensive set: Spread
Base defensive set: 4-3
Outlook: The Crusaders have a talented but young and inexperienced group, Kothe said.
Only seven starters from last season are included on this year’s 40-player roster.
Faith Lutheran started last season 4-1 before its defense faltered, allowing a combined 83 points in its next two games.
Sperry could be one of the best all-around players in the Southern League. Last season, he rushed for 367 yards and five touchdowns, caught 22 passes for 295 yards and three scores and threw for four touchdowns. As a defensive back, Sperry picked up 37 tackles, one sack and two fumble recoveries.
As a freshman last season, Lubbe piled up 15 tackles in two games. Newton (31 tackles) is also expected to play a key role in the front seven.