Head Coach Jim Hartigan has a host of talented players returning from last years 13-1 team. The Eagles will have nine All-Sea View League Players, 14 starters (Not including Specialists) and 34 Lettermen at Coach Hartigan's Disposal. The Eagles set numerous records last year and the offense should be fun to watch, but it is the defense that is expected to be the strength of the 1997 team.
On the Offensive side of the ball where six starters return, the emphasis will once again be on a balanced attack. But the Eagles, as they did so often last year will also strike for the big play. Poised for a landmark season, Carson Palmer will likely become the most prolific passer in Eagle History. John Minardi leads a deep receiving corps; however the Eagles must find a replacement for record setting RB Billy Newman. Although the running back job is open, Juniors Spencer McCrosky and Matt Lopez are the early front runners for this role. Also in contention for the spot is Transfer Bryant Wolfsberger. Senior Offensive Lineman Shaun Jackson, Matt Strickroth and Jarleth Curran return for what is traditionally an Eagle source of strength.
On Defense, where eight starters return, the Eagles are loaded with depth and talent. Colin Rooke and Shaun Jackson look like the early candidates to replace All-CIF DE Austin Jayred, otherwise the rest of the talented defensive line returns in tact. Matt Strickroth, Andy Hopper and Jason Rowell - each named to the All-Sea View League team should pose trouble for opposing offenses. At Linebacker, All-Leaguer Andrew Holstein leads the group and fellow senior Nick Cappelletti mans the middle. Senior OLB Jessie Wyatt appears to be the replacement for Eagle great Damien Minna. In the secondary All-CIF candidate John Minardi returns for his senior season as does All-League CB Matt Brooks and talented SS John Schweitzer. Junior CB Garrett Thompson is another returning starter.
The Special Teams look strong with returning All-League K Nick Sparks ready for a standout season. John Schweitzer and Lee Smith are the early candidates for the punting duties, and John Minardi and Andrew Holstein return as the holder and long snapper respectively.