Now the Chaps will once again be looking for another state title but head coach Derek Long will be look to a new cast of characters, especially on offense to help the Chaps make a deep push into November and December.
Walker Kobelan has been handed the daunting task of replacing Michigan State signee Nick Foles at quarterback. Kobelan is more of a runner than Foles meaning that he, along with junior Ryan Swope could have the Chaps displaying more a ground-based attack in 2007.
The defense will have to carry the Chaps early in the season as the offense comes together as seven starters return. Mark Daniel was a second team all-District selection at defensive tackle and returns to anchor the defensive line. Linebacker and secondary are the strong points of the Westlake defense as linebackers Cameron Nichols and Michael Joyce return along with defensive backs Ryan Ambrose (five interceptions in '06) and Swope, who started as a sophomore.
Having a weapon like Justin Tucker in the kicking game will give the Chaps the edge on special teams in nearly every game they play this season. A Texas commit, Tucker was 10-of-15 on field goal tries last season and hit on 63-of-66 PAT attempts and enters his senior year as a consensus choice as the top prep kicker in the nation.
The Chaps will be young in some key spots on offense and they will be tested early with a trip to Abilene. If the offense can come along, the defense will need to come up big in district play as Austin High's high powered offense gives the Maroons the preseason edge over the Chaps when looking at the district title picture.