The Eagles are coming off a 6-5 season in which they won the District 5-2A title.
This year, Prep has its sights on repeating as district champs and making a run in the state playoffs.
“I think we'll do pretty good this year. I expect we'll get past the first round,” said 2012 District Player of the Year Mika Mauga.
Prep ran into trouble in the opening playoff round last season, losing to Clayton 52-6, but the Eagles say they have learned from the experience and will be better prepared for the postseason this year.
“I think we were a little
in shock last year in the playoffs. This year, we'll be more ready,” Mauga said.
Junior Tyler Sorensen, who returns as the Eagles starting quarterback, said he has learned a lot from last season and thinks he's ready to lead Prep to a playoff victory.
“Last year, I wasn't able to make a lot of reads and I was just playing off of what opened up. This year, everything has slowed down and I'm able to pick it up,” Sorensen said. “Our goal is to win state, and we feel like we have a chance with a lot of returning players.”
The Eagles lost only five seniors and Prep head coach Rod Denetso has seen an increase in the returning player's motivation after the success in 2012.
“They're hungry. We've been hungry since Clayton beat us,” Denetso said. “The guys have been in the weight room, and the team showed up in shape. The kids are ready. We have a lot of speed and some size, so we're ready to go.”
The Prep offense piled up points last season, averaging a little more than 35 per game, and similar results can be expected in 2013 with the hires of five former Aztec assistant coaches — Mike Kovacs, Chris Kovacs, Ernie Kovacs, Brett Alexander and Jose Santistevan — and the implementation of the Tigers' spread offense.
“They have a lot of returners that were very successful. It's exciting to see that,” said Mike Kovacs, who will run the offense. “I think Tyler Sorensen, the quarterback, has a live arm and bringing over that spread offense we ran at Aztec will be exciting. It's a young bunch, but it's exciting to watch them grow.”