This is the first in a series of high school football previews by VarsityKansas reporters. Look for new previews daily.
All Wichita-area schools will be previewed in The Wichita Eagle on Saturday, Aug. 21.
Coach: Alan Schuckman, 16th season
OL Collin Hawk 6-2 210 Sr.
OL Kevin Harper 6-1 270 Sr.
DL Beau Bell 6-0 200 Sr.
DL Tucker Chadd 5-11 210 Sr.
Top skill players
QB Tyler Nance 5-11 175 Sr.
RB Brandon Weber 5-11 180 Sr.
LB Aaron Jackson 6-2 210 Sr.
DB Max Martinez 5-8 160 Sr.
All games start at 7 p.m.
Sept. 3 at Heights
Sept. 9 at South
Sept. 17 Southeast
Sept. 24 Northwest
Oct. 1 East
Oct. 8 Kapaun (at Wichita State)
Oct. 15 Liberal
Oct. 21 West (at Carpenter Stadium)
Oct. 29 at Hutchinson
Projected 2010 record: 7-2
Playoff berth: Yes
Last season: 11-1
Breakdown: Carroll had the City League's top defense last season, giving up 213.8 yards in the regular season. Expect that to improve. Schuckman expects a lot from the defense, especially from senior FS Max Martinez. Already fast, he ran track in the spring and has become one of the Eagles' best athletes. DE Beau Bell and LB Aaron Jackson should help return the Eagles into an even more stifling defensive team. RB-CB Alec Maly is a rare Eagle who plays both ways, and he will be important coming out of the backfield with Brandon Weber, a physical back who was more of a receiving back in 2009.
Carroll's offense will become less of a pass-first offense, as it was with QB Blake Bell (a two-time Top 11 player now at Oklahoma), and be more balanced. But QB Tyler Nance can run and has the ability to throw for more than 1,000 yards. There's plenty of receivers, including Danny Crippen, Shane Brittain, Brian Rohleder, Matt Denning, David Bahr and Trevor and Dylan Biedron. The offensive line is experienced although it's a bit small. One of the three returners, Tyler Bulloch, will miss the season because of complications due to a concussion suffered last season. Hutch and Carroll, who met in the Class 5A semifinals in 2009, will now face each other in the final game of the regular season. Hutch is the standard-bearer in the state, and Carroll badly wants to overtake the Salthawks.
Carroll running back Brandon Weber breaks down the Eagles
What do the Eagles do well?
"What our team does well is working together as a team and just kind of always having each other's backs. We never try to put weight on one guys' shoulders. We just do it as a team."
What do the Eagles need to improve on?
"I think we're going to really need some people to step up and become leaders. We need to make sure that we don't let up in any game this season, no matter what happens, no matter who we're playing or what the score is."
Carroll coach Alan Schuckman: "I think my overall expectation is to continue where we left off last season. We returned a lot of kids that had a lot of playing time. You hope we improve on what we did last season. If you look at weaknesses, our team leaders are gone and who is going to step in and be the leaders for this season? Our strength is a lot of experience. We have like 15 starters back. That's always good."