The school books have been dusted off and the halls of the school have been filled with the sounds that can only mean one thing; summer has ended and the class of 2017 has begun the last leg of their high school career.

And just as they do every year, the Paris Eagles football team is preparing for their upcoming season.

The feeling on campus and in the community is filled with optimism. With depth at the skill positions and experience in the trenches, this team could make its mark with a deep playoff run. As we start our breakdown of this team and schedule, lets begin with a look at the offensive line — the big boys up front.

The makeup of an offensive line is much different today than it was a generation ago. Long past are the days of the big boys relying on mass and leverage to make a seam for a back to get through. Though it is still part of the game, the new generation of linemen are leaner and more agile than their predecessors. They focus on footwork and mobility, implement zone schemes, and use fitness to outlast their opponents. This Eagles group is a snapshot of the new generation of offensive linemen. They are very experienced and striving to break the mold of what an offensive line looks like.

The projected starters are all seniors, with center Will Howard anchoring the group for another year. Casey Rice, Eli Floren, Treverton Bryant, and Dante Stanford are projected as starters, with sophomores Noah Davis, Travis Bryant, and Trenton Hice getting quality reps. Senior Granger Ezell will also see quality time.

Having depth will help this group to play at the tempo to impose their will on their opponent while still managing the smaller rosters and two way players that come with 3A football. On the preseason roster, every player is listed with a position on both sides of the ball. The depth on the line of scrimmage will be beneficial as the season progresses, especially since most of the linemen can play multiple positions on the line.

At tight end, the Eagles have a roster slot from each class, starting with senior Raece Trusty. junior Dominic Bradley and sophomore Alex Flores will both see the field.

Coach Mark Tucker can’t help but smile when asked about this offensive unit and the options he has available to him, thanks in part to this veteran offensive line.

The Eagles open the season Sept. 2 with a 7 p.m. kickoff at home against Yellville Summit before traveling to Dardanelle for a week two matchup.