FARMINGTON — Navajo Prep had a historic 2013 season and is looking to pick up right where it left off.

The Eagles reached the 2A quarterfinals thanks to the arm of quarterback Tyler Sorensen and a plethora of speedy wide receivers.

Sorensen is back for his senior year, but he will have to work with a different receiving corps after Mika Mauga, Alex Danzuka and Isaiah Yazzie all graduated in the spring.

The Prep quarterback said it took some work over the summer, but his new targets are getting accustomed to the offense and will be ready to go for Week 1.

"The whole summer, they've been working in the system, and now they're getting it," said Sorensen, who threw for just more than 4,000 yards and 51 touchdowns in 2013. "Everything is coming along. This is my last year of high school football, so I'm really excited."

Freshman O’Rion Martinez jumps on Aug. 21 during football practice at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington.
Freshman O'Rion Martinez jumps on Aug. 21 during football practice at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington. (Alexa Rogals/The Daily Times)

While the receivers may all be new, Sorensen can take comfort in the fact that he'll have most of the offensive line back to protect him as he orchestrates the Eagles' aerial attack.

"Not only is the line back, but they've been working really hard in the weight room during the offseason," Sorensen said.

While the offense was solid throughout the year for Prep in 2013, the defense struggled against some of its strong opponents.

In the Eagles' two losses, they allowed 102 points to their opponents.

"They just need to get more mean," Sorensen said of the defense. "I don't see what we had last year, but I'm confident they'll get it done."

Like most teams in San Juan County, Navajo Prep finds itself in a new district, playing in 1-3A this season. Newcomb is the only remaining opponent from last year's District 5-2A, and the Eagles will now face off with Tohatchi and Crownpoint, instead of Cuba, Dulce and Navajo Pine.

The Eagles are expected to roll through the district similarly to last year, when they went 4-0 while outscoring their opponents 229-0.

Durante Pioche-Lee runs for a touchdown on Aug. 21 during football practice at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington.
Durante Pioche-Lee runs for a touchdown on Aug. 21 during football practice at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington. (Alexa Rogals/The Daily Times)

To make up for the weaker district slate, head coach Rod Denetso loaded up with the strongest non-district schedule the Eagles have played in his tenure.

Prep's schedule features 2A champion Clayton, along with Dexter, Estancia and Laguna Acoma. All four schools are ranked in the top six in 3A by MaxPreps' preseason rankings.

Denetso said the schedule will play a role in getting the team ready for the postseason as it tries to improve on its 2013 finish.

"I think it's good for us. Having a schedule like we did last year hurt us," Denetso said. "Those teams used to beat up on us. But with the development of the program, we want to see where we're at. It will just prepare us for the playoffs. We've got to face guys like that. Those teams called us and wanted to play, so that means a lot to our program."

Prep will also take on Shiprock, which the Eagles defeated a year ago, and Escalante, the team that handed Prep its only regular season loss in 2013.

"I think we'll matchup well this season," Denetso said. "Our front seven is big and has a lot of experience. They'll be a strength for us."

Joshua Perry is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and jperry@daily-times.com. Follow him @jperrysuu on Twitter.