ROSSVILLE (KSNT) – Rossville football has a real challenge in the 2022 season.

“We lost really good people,” running back Trenton Barker said.

The Dawgs only return five offensive and four defensive starters.

“If you have good players, you’re going to lose good players,” head coach Derick Hammes said. “It’s not uncommon for any high school program to have a little bit of turnover on the roster. This would be one of those years for us, but we’re still working hard. We still have high expectations for ourselves.”

The guys up front do have experience.

“Our line has a lot of good returning starters from last year,” linebacker Braiden Hensley said. “We’re good overall, but our line is really good this year.”

Plus, a lot of players may be new to the starting role, but they’re not new to Rossville football.

“A lot of them grow up in our program, so that’s very helpful that there’s not an adjustment of learning new plays or anything like that,” Hammes said.

The quarterback spot is still open.

“We’ve got three guys that are competing for that position,” Hammes said, “Each one of them brings a little bit something different to our team.”

Whoever it is, the Dawgs’ offense will look different.

“We’ll have a passing quarterback this year,” Barker said. “Last year, we had Torrey [Horrak], and he was pretty good at running. Looking at that, we’re going to have to step it up with our passes.”

The back-to-back state titles don’t take away from this group’s hunger for another.

“If we’re satisfied, we don’t push each other hard enough, and we don’t get to what we need,” Hensley said.

Rossville will be tested against bigger teams this year, including Hayden and Holton.

“I think it’s going to be exciting that we’ve got a challenge this year,” Barker said.