Machesney Park-The Harlem Huskies have big changes to their team this year and big changes to their home field.
"How can we not be excited about the field turf? It's going to be the best playing surface in Illinois, and our kids get to benefit from that, says head coach Jim Morrow.
The Huskies will also benefit from their deep receiving corps.
"We're going to be able to spread the ball around to different people. It's just not keying on one person all the time," says receiver Raymond Lee.
So who will be the Huskies' playmakers?
I really like our wide receivers Malik Lightfoot and Dakota Knutsen," says Morrow. "They're pretty dynamic kids, very athletic.
"We have a lot of speed on the outside," says Knutsen. "We've got really fast people in the backfield. We've got a great line. You can't win football games without a great line and a great quarterback."
So who will be filling that quarterback spot?
"Our starter is going to be Trent Willy. He's a sophomore," says Morrow. "We feel very confident in his ability to lead this team and allow some of the other gifted athletes we have to move to other positions."
The Huskies have offensive speed but their defense is also extremely athletic.
"We're trying to put our guys at more aggressive positions and positions to play the run a lot better. So, I'm pretty excited about the athleticism on that side of the ball," says Morrow.
The Huskies have made the playoffs the past six years, but they've never made it past the second round. With young talent stepping up, they're determined to change that this year.
"We've had a lot of really great players underneath the seniors from last year, who I think stepped up and will take their spot, in order to beat these conference teams," says Knutsen.
"I think we're going to have a good season. I think we're going to have a winning season, especially, with that new turf in," says Knutsen. "I can't wait to play on that."