It's never easy to repeat. Deerfield-Windsor is about to experience that difficulty firsthand.
The Knights won the Class AAA G.I.S.A. title in 2013, but the cupboard is bare. Only a handful of starters return this year, and just two on defense.
But Head Coach Allen Lowe likes how the offseason and preseason preparations have gone. There are several competitive battles brewing for starting positions. Deerfield plans on playing a lot of guys early on to see what works and what doesn't.
Lowe is clear about one thing: it's a new year and a different team.
"We're not gonna win them the same way we did last year. This team has to find its identity and find out how we can go out and win football games," Lowe said.
The players agree.
"We've got to play hard and come together like we did last year," senior offensive lineman Davis Gill said. "We just got a lot of people that are gonna have to step up and I believe they can."