For the first time in 27 years, Skyline's head coach will not be Roger Dupaix.
The local legend, whose eight state titles included a run of five straight from 1995 to 1999, retired after last season to go on an LDS Church mission with his wife, Edie.
Longtime assistant Steve Marlowe steps into the top spot now, and the priority will be to try and maintain the culture and system that Dupaix established.
"If you're with Roger Dupaix, you learn a lot of great things about football," Marlowe said. "Only a fool would discard that and go a different direction."
Skyline, which last won a state championship in 2005, is playing in a different era than the one that saw them reel off annual titles. Even as expectations remain high, enrollment has declined from around 2,000 to less than 1,500 over the past decade.
Now, the challenge for Marlowe will be to balance necessary changes with maintaining the values Dupaix espoused.
The option will remain the Eagles' offensive bread and butter, but new wrinkles will be added in as well. Look for some West Coast elements as Skyline attempts to modernize its attack, with a heavier emphasis on the passing game to better utilize BYU-bound receiver Garrett England.
Six starters return on each side of the ball, including defensive lineman Devin Crofts. Safety/running back Chris Williams should also play a major role after receiving significant time playing both ways last season. Defensive coordinator Justin Thompson praised Williams as one of the smartest players he's been around.
LAST YEAR: 7-4, lost to East in second round.KEY RETURNER: Garrett England, senior, wide receiver/safety. A starter on both sides of the ball, England has sewn up a commitment to BYU next fall. The 6-foot-4 wideout missed the first half of lastseason with a hip flexor injury, but built a strong connection with quarterback Tyler Snyder when he returned.PLAYER TO WATCH: Machi Ubani, sophomore, nose tackle. A physical marvel at 5-foot-11 and over 300 pounds, Ubani started on the offensive line last year as a freshman. Coaches praise the footwork he shows for his size.NEED TO KNOW: Can the Eagles keep steady without Roger Dupaix? With Steve Marlowe cut from largely the same cloth, an early 'yes' doesn't seem too hazardous a guess.SEASON OPENER: Visits Hurricane. Aug. 17 @ 7 p.m.
Previous postsJuly 25: Introduction/Riverton
July 26: Hunter/Park City
July 27: Kearns/Copper Hills
July 28: Davis/Juan DiegoJuly 30: Olympus/Judge Memorial
July 31: Alta/Grantsville
Aug. 1: Westlake/West Jordan
Aug. 2: Layton/Hillcrest
Aug. 3: Jordan/Lone Peak
Aug. 4: Viewmont/Stansbury
Aug. 6: Lehi/Cyprus
Aug. 7: Woods Cross/Syracuse
Aug. 8: Cottonwood/American Fork
Aug. 9: Granger/Tooele
Aug. 10: Murray/Bountiful
- Jack Wangjwang@sltrib.comTwitter: @thejackwang