Most schools would be content with an 11-2 record and a trip to the regional semifinals, but the Brenham Cubs aren't most schools.
Even with the loss of QB Jarrett Lee and six other Division I players, head coach Glen West will field a team loaded with more than enough firepower on both sides of the ball to make the Cubs one of the top contenders for the 4A, Region II championship.
The question of who replaces Lee (now at LSU) will be answered in the form of Kyler Crenshaw. Crenshaw threw just eight passes last season but has the size and ability to keep Brenham's multiple formation attack at peak form. He won't have to worry about finding quality receivers, as WR/RB Lester Ward returns for his senior season.
Ward led the Cubs in rushing last season, but is viewed as a wideout on the next level; either way, expect the ball to be in the hands of a playmaker who scored seven times in 2006 and will likely double the mark this fall. Justin Bennett will have an increased role in the passing game, while TE Kyle Mangan will provide an over-the-middle target for Crenshaw.
The potential of Kendrick Washington is one reason why the Cubs feel confident in moving Ward to wideout. As a sophomore, Washington averaged 6.2 yards per carry and would give Brenham the game breaking ability it was accustomed to from departed RB Kevin Ealey.
Brenham has a wealth of talent on the offensive line, led by Luke Poehlmann. Dayarion Broadnax thrived as a sophomore and has upside. Will Holle has experience, while Landan Schwartze will bring his skills to the table as well.
The Cubs lost a lot of talent on defense, but will be able to make up for it. Holle is a second-team 18-4A member of the defensive line, which was hurt considerably by graduation. Among the contenders for playing time will be Andy Graber, Gerald Lockett and Jamarcus McCardell.
Mangan earned all-district first team honors at LB, where the Cubs will be their strongest defensively. Ryan Roberson made the second team and will also see time at running back. Kevin Williams and Trenton Thomas are among the players that give the position depth.
Losing Ealey, Brandon Collins and Shawn Sullivan will impact the secondary. The Cubs do have some talent to work with, as Josh Green and Brandon Smith will be in the thick of the contenders for playing time.
Cameron Schultz will finally handle the full-time kicking role after sharing with Chase Michalak.
The Cubs will be in the thick of the title chase. It shouldn't shock anyone if Brenham was the last team standing when the weather changes in late December.