Russ Fowles grew up in Delta. He won a state championship as a player at Delta and has been an assistant coach at his alma mater for the last eight years.
He knows as well as anyone just how daunting a task it will be to follow the success that former coaches Dean Fowles and Russ Henrie have had in Delta playoffs or bust.
"We will be setting our team goals to see where we want to be," Fowles said. "I believe we hold the state record for the most consecutive years in the playoffs. Our main goal is to get a home game for the first week of the playoffs and then go from there."
Fowles said there wouldn't be many noticeable differences between this year's team and the ones the Rabbits have fielded in the past.
Since he was the offensive coordinator last year, he plans on keeping the same reverse wishbone offense. He said the defense will be under the direction of new defensive coordinator Jason Thomas but will have few changes.
The changes will be the players manning each position. Delta returns just four returning starters from last year's team that went 3-2 in region play.
"I like our chances," Fowles said. "Now that there's not a big difference in enrollment, we won't be going up against teams three times our size. Some of them will be twice our size, but that's OK. We'll give them everything we've got like we always do."
Saxon Day is the only returning lineman. Kale Leavitt and Riley Nielson both return at running back and linebacker, while Morgan Bogue returns at running back and cornerback.
All other positions are up for grabs, including quarterback.
ASSIGNMENT • 3A South
LAST YEAR • 3-8 overall, 3-2 Region 12
KEY RETURNER • Kale Leavitt, who coach Russ Fowles says can play anywhere he's needed.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Riley Nielson, who Fowles says will be key at linebacker.
BIGGEST HOLE • Inexperience. There are only a few players back with experience. The Rabbits need a quarterback and a line to block for him.
NEED TO KNOW • The key to the season is the defense.