On offense the obvious strength of the Rebels lies with the ground game as Hays returns two all-district performers in senior Trace Gandy and speedy junior Torrence Smith. Their numbers will be interesting to watch as they'll run behind a young offensive line. The QB position is also in good hands with potential Division 1 recruit Sam Breyfogle. As a junior Breyfogle struggled with his decsision making throwing 11 INT's against just 4 TD passes, however with another year of experience and a strong ground game look for Breyfogle's numbers to improve. Up front the Rebels have some good size but lack varsity experience, Matt Stout is the anchor on the line at center where he was named first team all 17-4A as a junior.
On defense the Rebels return just three starters and much like the offense they will depend on some youth to step in and contribute. The strength of the defense will lie in the middle at LB as Justin Heath and Godford Maxwell lead the way as both were all-district performers in 2008. Up front there will be some inexperience but Cody Holt will be a solid contributor as he was second team all-district player. Holt is an undersized defensive tackle but he's got tremendous quickness off the ball. The secondary will be the biggest area of concern with no starters back including likely having to play sophomore Dalton Johnson.
Overall Hays Consolidated should still be favored to win 17-4A, however Lockhart should pose a significant challenge. The Rebels have the best depth in the district as they are by far the largest District 17-4A school. The youth is concerning especially with an experienced Lockhart team looming as a challenge.