The Ocean City High School football team must replace some talented players.
The core of last season's 5-5 team, including quarterback Chris Curran and linebacker Rob Zauck, has graduated.
All Curran did was throw 17 touchdown passes. Zauck led the team in tackles with 126.
As a result of those graduations, Ocean City will change strategies this season.
Ocean City threw almost every down last season. That won't be the case this season.
"We're trying to balance out the offense more," said wide receiver Mike Coccodrilli, "and run to open up the pass."
Ocean City ran the spread offense last year but switched to Wing-T this season. The Red Raiders ran the Wing-T in the 1990s when they were one of the state's top teams.
"It's what we used to run back in the early years," said offensive lineman Marc Impagliazzo. "Everybody's been picking it up pretty nice. It's more of a power game, which is more fun."
Coccodrilli and Impagliazzo are two of Ocean City's top returnees.
Impagliazzo, who also plays defensive end, should be one of the Cape-Atlantic League's top defenders. He had 26 tackles last season. Linebacker Ron Deluce was second on the team in tackles with 93.
The defense will have to be stingy to give the offense time to develop.
Quarterback Logan McGuigan injured his shoulder in a preseason scrimmage and could be out for Friday's season opener against Vineland.
Coccodrilli caught 27 passes for 391 yards and five touchdowns.
C.J. Schultheis, who led the team in rushing with 247 yards, also returns.
Dan Neate, a 287-pound senior, gives the Red Raiders good size on the offensive line.
The key to Ocean City's season could be getting off to a fast start. The Red Raiders have the opportunity to do that. Three of their first four opponents had losing records last season.
PLAYOFF APPEARANCES: 16
LAST APPEARANCE: 2008
PLAYOFF RECORD: 13-12
LEAGUE/GROUP: Cape-Atlantic League National/South Jersey Group III
COACH: Mark Impagliazzo (17-23, four seasons
2009 RECORD: 5-5
2010 PREDICTION: Rebuilding - Red Raiders must replace two of the CAL's top players in quarterback Chris Curran and linebacker Rob Zauck.
GAME TO WATCH: Sept. 24 at Mainland Regional - These two neighboring schools have one of the region's top rivalries. Ocean City hasn't beaten Mainland since 2004.
KEY PLAYERS: Wally Snow, Sr., WR/CB, 5-11, 162; Mike Coccodrilli, Sr., WR/CB, 5-6, 145; Logan McGuigan, Sr., QB, 5-11, 161; Matt Franklin, Jr., RB/LB, 5-8, 205; Shawn Stewart, Jr., TE/DE, 6-1, 201; Rob DeLuce, Jr., OL/LB, 6-1, 202; Dan Neate, Sr., OL/DL, 6-3, 287; Marc Impagliazzo, Sr., TE/DE, 6-3, 238; C.J. Schultheis, Sr., RB/DB, 5-8, 160