The Watterson High School football team gets its first opportunity to put last year's down season behind it when it opens Friday, Aug. 24, at Whitehouse Anthony Wayne.
While the Eagles have made 21 playoffs appearances and have won two state championships, the Generals have been to the postseason six times but haven't won a playoff game since 1999.
A year ago, Watterson went 3-7, the first time since 1958 it didn't win at least four games.
Anthony Wayne made the playoffs for the first time since 2003 and returns junior running back Sam Bruno (6-foot, 176 pounds). He helped the Generals go 8-3 last season and made first-team all-Northwest District.
Grant Judson (OL/DL), Ose Omofoma (WR/DB) and Josh Schwerer (RB/DB) are others who helped Anthony Wayne post its third consecutive winning season. Judson was second-team all-district.
"I saw a few things about them online and they're a solid team," Watterson coach Dan Bjelac said. "They had a couple kids who looked pretty solid. They run not exactly a wing-T, but they do some inside traps and some counters, some misdirections and some sweeps."
Last season, Anthony Wayne averaged 28.6 points but was shut out twice, including in the first round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs when it fell to eventual state semifinalist Toledo Whitmer 20-0.
Watterson, which lost its opener to Pickerington North 38-3 a year ago after winning the 2010 Division III state title, returns senior Andy Elberson at quarterback. He was the No. 2 quarterback as a sophomore before taking over full time last fall.
Juniors Cody Calhoun and Walter Green are expected to be the top running backs. Seniors Andrew Lorenz (OL/DL) and Matt Stafford (TE/LB) are other returning starters.
"At Watterson we always have high expectations, but with our schedule we're trying to focus on Friday's game and go week by week," Elberson said. "Our offense is looking good so far. We have some fast (running) backs and some good receivers. We should be very explosive."