Coach: Bob Altshuler, second year (14-0).
2007 record: 14-0 (6-0 Southwest), state champions.
Returning starters: Five offense, four defense.
Top players: OT Sam Womack (Sr.); G Vince Nicotra (Sr.); G/LB Evan Palelei (Jr.); OT Geoff Gibson (Jr.); TE Xavier Grimble (Jr.); DE Alex Turner (Jr.); DE Justin Chaisson (Sr.); DB Charles Childers (Sr.); RB/DB Chaisson Sears (Sr.); RB Kawika Antolin (Sr.); LB Will Fitzgerald (Sr.); DB Evan Zeger (So.).
Outlook: The Gaels got a head start in practices, beginning a week earlier than most teams. Still, Gorman must replace all of its starters at the offensive skill positions.
The offensive line is nearly intact from last season with five starters returning and should be the key to the team’s ability to score, something Gorman had no problem doing last season when it averaged more than 40 points per game. Three seniors (Chase Cresto, John Therrell and Joe Huber) are battling for the quarterback position. Sears is expected to fill a big void in the offensive backfield.
Chaisson, a 6-foot-4-inch monster who will play at Oklahoma next season, leads a solid defense. He was second on the team in tackles last season. Turner is a good complement at the other defensive end, but the remainder of the defense will have a new look with only two other starters returning.
Gorman likely remains the team to beat in this league.