With the loss of superstar RB Jermie Callhoun, many would think Van's offense would take a step back. However the Vandals should be deeper at every position which should bode well. Emanuel Hayes who earned first team all 14-3A honors as a junior will now be the bell cow for the VHS offense. Blake Pennington who led the team in receptions in 2007 will be the go to guy in the passing game. Van has good size and experience on the offensive line.
8 starters are back on the defensive side of the ball, so look for the Vandals to be much improved as well. Pennington anchors the secondary as well but he has a lot of help on Damon Hightower and sophomore Michael Terry. Coach Pennington is concerned about a lack of depth however. Up front Chris Leiser leads the way as he had a great sophomore season, and at LB Matthew Broadbent and Clayton Kendrick are players to watch after all-district seasons in 2007.
Van has high expectations heading into the season, however they've had expectations the past 3 seasons and they've found a way to miss the playoffs each year. This is a make or break year in Van as the Vandals won't have as much talent next year, the key for Van is finding a way to win the close games in district. Losing close games they were favored in the past three seasons has been their achilles heel.