Pine View got off on a wrong foot, namely the injured ankle belonging to quarterback Kody Wilstead, when the season began a year ago.
But the Panthers rebounded to earn a berth in the playoffs and even got their talented signal caller back at the end of the 2012 season.
Now Pine View and coach Ray Hosner are looking forward to an entire season with the quarterback who already has college suitors like Louisville and San Diego State.
"When you lose a kid like that, it isn't easy," Hosner said about his 6-foot-6 QB, who ironically was hurt on a running play in the Pine View spread offense. "He just throws the ball now."
The guys Wilstead will be looking for include senior wideout Jack Bangerter as well as junior receivers Bladen Hosner and Colton Miller. Wilstead also will sling the ball to senior tight end Cason Prisbrey as another option.
Protecting the quarterback will be the duty of an offensive line anchored by senior center Guillermo Fierro, senior guard Cory Kamachi and junior Horrison Goebel.
Defensively, the Panthers' returning strength will be in the linebacking corps, where seniors Thor Katoa, Kaden Creager and Dylan Draper will patrol. In the secondary, where Draper primarily worked a year ago, Pine View has additional experience in seniors Jaden Ahquin and Tristan Duran.
"They love each other, they push each," Hosner said about this year's squad. "These are guys I don't have to get after in practice."
Pine View Panthers
ASSIGNMENT • Class 3AA South
LAST YEAR • 7-4 overall, 3-3 Region 9
KEY RETURNER • Thor Katoa, sr., LB
PLAYER TO WATCH • Kody Wilstead, jr., QB
BIGGEST HOLE • The Panthers will try to rebuild their defensive line, one of their strong suits in 2012, around senior nose guard Taylor Tauiliili.
NEED TO KNOW • Pine View will be without running back Pano Tiatia for the first three games. He will be boxing with the Junior Olympic squad in Italy, France and the Ukraine.