As part of a 23-member senior class, Joey Woolard hopes his group is the one that begins to change the fortunes of Grove City.

Under third-year coach Tennyson Varney, the Dawgs are looking for their first winning season since going 6-4 in 2013.

Grove City is 6-44 over the past five seasons, including finishing winless in 2016 and last season.

"It would be a dream come true because we've been talking about that as teammates and as brothers since we were in seventh grade, when we first started going downhill," Woolard said. "Especially being in high school and feeling all the defeats and all the hardship that we've been through, it would mean the world to us. That's what we've been working for since we were freshmen."

The Dawgs are looking to end a 17-game losing streak in the OCC-Ohio Division, where their last win was a 10-7 victory over Gahanna on Oct. 16, 2015.

"The past couple of years we haven't had the real leadership out of our senior group that we need," senior Jevin Yors said. "My senior class is different. We all actually care. It would mean a lot to show everyone in central Ohio that our class was the one that turned this thing around and got us going in the right direction."

Varney points to a busy offseason as a key to his optimism.

"We had an incredible offseason," Varney said. "It's been a blast. We have some really great kids. For a program that hasn't had much success lately to come in and watch us work, that's a tribute to our kids and just how great they are and how much they believe in themselves. It's been very enjoyable as a coach since January when we started.

"We're not the most talented group, but we do have a lot of buy-in right now and we have a lot of kids working hard. I'm excited to see what they can do."

OFFENSE

The Dawgs have altered their main scheme offensively, going from the spread to a wing-T formation.

"It's something that I wanted to do," Varney said. "I felt it fit our kids better. We really planned this thing out. I want to do whatever it takes for our kids to be successful. It's not about me or any other coach. It's about our kids, and whatever puts our kids in the best position to win, that's what I want to do."

Back at quarterback is junior Jared Knight, who emerged as the starter last season and passed for 621 yards.

"Jared has done a very good job of winning the position," Varney said. "Starting last year gave him a little edge, but he's been a very good competitor."

Yors, who was the top receiver with 36 receptions for 489 yards and one touchdown, has moved to wingback. He was honorable mention all-district in Division I and special mention all-league.

"We've switched our offense into a different set, a different package, and I think we're turning in the right direction," Yors said. "I like the offense. I'm playing like a slot, getting the jet sweeps, and also receiving the ball."

Senior running back Cole Crager rushed for 391 yards and one touchdown last season, and the receivers should be led by juniors Justin Catalfina and Lukas Hamilton. Hamilton is a transfer from Grove City Christian.

Junior Austin Allmon and sophomore Zach Combs will play tight end.

The offensive line features experience, led by Woolard (right tackle), senior Brian Fisher (left tackle), junior Nick Getz (center) and junior Hayden Yerian (right guard). Seniors Will Moore and Noah Charland will split time at left guard.

"Our mindset has totally changed," Woolard said.

"We feel as though we've

put in a lot more work in the offseason as a team and as a unit than we ever have in the past."

DEFENSE

Grove City also features key returnees in its base 4-3 defense led by Moore at end, where he was honorable mention all-league.

The line also will feature Woolard (tackle) and seniors Anthony Black (nose guard) and Aidan Wallace (end).

Senior Montell Qualls is at inside linebacker with juniors Cory Becker and Tyler Biddle on the outside. Qualls is a transfer from Franklin Heights.

The secondary includes Crager and senior Blake Stevens at safety and Yors and junior Caden Gordon at cornerback.

"We're going to try to play fundamentally sound defense," Varney said.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Junior Tyler Lantzy returns as the kicker and punter, Gordon and Yors are the top return threats and sophomore Will Bully is the long snapper.

THE LINEUP

Offense

Quarterbacks: *Jared Knight (jr., 6-1, 185), Hunter Stansell (jr., 5-11, 160), Landon Yokum (so., 5-10, 160)

Running backs: *Cole Crager (sr., 6-1, 190), *Jevin Yors (sr., 5-11, 170), Carter Binford (jr., 6-2, 185), Zach Nelson (so., 6-0, 185)

Receivers: *Justin Catalfina (jr., 5-11, 150), *Lukas Hamilton (jr., 5-11, 160)

Tight ends: Austin Allmon (jr. 6-3, 190), Zach Combs (so. 6-1, 200)

Linemen: *Brian Fisher (sr. 6-0, 290), *Nick Getz (jr., 6-0, 215), *Joey Woolard (sr., 6-1, 270), *Hayden Yerian (jr., 5-9, 210), Noah Charland (sr., 5-9, 210), Will Moore (sr., 5-11, 200)

Defense

Linemen: *Anthony Black (sr., 6-0, 250), ), *Moore, *Aidan Wallace (sr., 5-11, 230), *Woolard

Linebackers: *Cole Becker (jr., 5-11, 190), *Tyler Biddle (jr., 5-9, 180), *Montell Qualls (sr., 5-11, 210), Combs

Secondary: *Crager, *Caden Gordon (jr., 5-7, 150), *Blake Stevens (sr., 5-9, 155), *Yors

Special teams

Kicker: *Tyler Lantzy (jr., 6-0, 180)

Punter: *Lantzy

Returners: Gordon, Yors

Long snapper: *Will Bully (so., 6-1, 220)

(*Denotes projected starter)

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank