In his seven seasons as coach of the Eastmoor Academy football team, Jim Miranda can't remember replacing so much talent.

In his seven seasons as coach of the Eastmoor Academy football team, Jim Miranda can't remember replacing so much talent.

There was enough ability in last year's senior class to send the Warriors all the way to the Division III state championship game at Canton's Fawcett Stadium, where the season ended with a 21-10 loss to Aurora.

Eastmoor, which finished at 13-2 overall, became only the second City League team to reach a state final. Brookhaven defeated Avon Lake 42-21 in 2004 to earn the Division II title.

With just three returning starters on defense and two on offense, Miranda and his staff knew what was ahead of them heading into preseason camp.

"We've got some good skill kids, but up front on both sides of the ball we've got a lot of work to do," Miranda said. "How quickly we develop up front will determine how much success we have."

But the Warriors have the expectation of remaining one of the top dogs in the City League-South Division, where they finished 6-1 last season to tie Marion-Franklin for first.

Just ask senior running back Carl Washington (5-foot-10, 180 pounds), who finished with more than 700 yards rushing despite missing two months of the season with injuries.

"We don't rebuild, we reload," he said. "We have a lot of talent, but our line has got to mesh together. If that happens, I think we can score just like we did last year. I tell the guys if they can just hold that block for one to two seconds I'm gone."

Eastmoor averaged a little more than 37 points per game and gained nearly 5,500 yards of offense with more than 4,000 on the ground.

Most of that rushing attack is gone with the departures of Touche Hopkins (1,024 yards) and Ronald Wallace (754 yards).

Sophomore tackle Jabari Howard is the only other returning starter on offense.

Eastmoor's multiple-set offense will be run this year by junior quarterback Ronald Tanner with senior Denzel McDougald (6-1, 180) back as the top receiver.

"Ronald has had a tremendous summer," Miranda said.

"He throws the ball really well. If we could just take seven on seven, we'd be fine. But obviously it doesn't work like that. Ronald's a great weapon and he can get the ball down field a long way."

Miranda points to senior defensive end Qwesi Sample (5-11, 205), Tanner (DB) and Washington (DB) as his leaders on the other side of the ball. All three were starters last season.

According to Miranda, the secondary seems to be "more seasoned" than the rest of the group.