It is a major step forward for a program that struggled mightily after former coach Derek Moyers left for Pike following the 2006 season.
“We made huge strides last year in winning three games, compared to the nine the previous five years,” Thompson said. “So believing in themselves is our main focus right now. The potential is there to have a good season.
With the loss of four-year starter Colin Smith, Sawyer Donovan will take over at quarterback.
“He has worked his tail off all winter and spring attending camps and has really improved from last year,” Thompson said.
After having 636 yards and five TDs as a freshman, Zac Butler returns at running back.
“I expect Zac to continue where he left off,” Thompson said. “He obviously will have more confidence than he did last year, and that will show in his play.”
Wideouts are AJ Parsons, Zach Batts, Brock Stevenson and Austin Gates, and Chris Howard is at tight end. Michael Browning, Dirk Bosworth, Sean Bayse, Lucas Stoutenour and Nick Evans are on the line.
Cascade will play its share of ironman football, as Parsons, Butler, Batts, Stephenson, Howard, Stoutenour, Evans and Gates are slotted to go both ways. End Michael Bodeker, lineman Chance Webb and linebacker Daniel Wheat round out the starting defense.
As Thompson attempts to rebuild the program, he expects steady improvement in year two.
“I believe with a year under our belt the players will be more comfortable with the offense and defense,” Thompson said. “Hopefully it will translate into more wins, but football is a weird game at times.”