Senior QB Bryan Brosnan, the AA Dulles District's second-leading passer a year ago, returns. Brosnan (5 feet 10, 160 pounds) completed 99 of 223 passes for 1,228 yards with 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, and Coach Wes Driskill is expecting even better things from him this season.
"I have no doubt that his experience is going to help him cut down on those turnovers," Driskill said. "He's improved throwing to his left, which is where he got into some trouble last year. And one thing is for sure, he's a tough competitor. That counts for a lot too."
Brosnan has weapons outside in senior WRs Jason Cadwell (6-0, 165) and Quinn Tibbs (6-5, 200), and also plans to use junior TEs Zach Burkhard (5-10, 180) and Chris McCalla (5-11, 180) more. The Pride also hopes to take advantage of a host of running backs, including senior Matt Lucas, a powerful runner who missed half of last season with an injured ankle. Complementing Lucas's power are small, quick senior backs William Bray (5-6, 150) and Chris Smith (5-6, 145).
"With all three of those guys, if they get loose in the field they're hard to take down," Driskill said.
The trio will work behind a senior-laden offensive line, led by Cyprian Yankey (5-10, 280).
The Pride's defensive line is quick and experienced, with Yankey, junior Hatim Lahlou (6-0, 250) and senior Alex Jefferson (6-1, 215) splitting time at the end positions and senior Tyler Langmead (5-9, 184) and Nick Jefferson (6-2, 215) handling the inside duties.
The linebackers should prove the strength of the defense. Burkhard, McCalla and senior Andre Summers (6-1, 195) all return to the starting lineup. Seniors Pierce Bullock (6-2, 180) and Dale Taylor (6-2, 175) and juniors Bobby Edmonds (5-10, 155), Sean McCoy (5-9, 160) return in the secondary.
"We have depth everywhere but in the line," Driskill said. "So we'll have to stay healthy there, because our key this season will be on stopping the run."
Six home games this season, including three in the district, bodes well for the Pride. So does a commitment to a tougher style of play that Driskill says has been lacking in the past.
"Everybody has an understanding now of their role," he said. "I like our experience. I like our talent. We just have to prove we know what to do with it."