On the surface, 2009 might appear to be a disappointing season for Harlem High School football coach Jimmie Lewis.
The Bulldogs finished 4-6 and suffered several lopsided defeats.
Examining the schedule closely, however, yields plenty of promising qualities.
The Bulldogs came into Week 6 at 0-5, yet they hung tough. They won four of their final five games, all by double digits.
"We are hoping we can build off what we did toward the end of last year," said Lewis, in his 19th season as head football coach.
"We have a little more depth and a little bit more speed. So we're kind of excited thinking we might be a little better."
Lewis is quick to offer a caveat. While he has a little more depth with which to work, there are still plenty of inexperienced players filling out the depth chart.
"Our kids have to go all three ways," Lewis said in reference to playing offense, defense and special teams.
"We'll try to rest them as much as we can, but it's hard to substitute air for a player.
"It's just like putting air out there. They'll be a player one day, but right now they ain't ready. They're too young."
Senior Zach McIntire will be in charge of running the Bulldogs' triple-option attack this season.
Lewis said McIntire's passing ability will allow the team to throw off of the play-action a little more, even on first down.
Alongside McIntire will be seniors Dominic Taylor and Taylor Mills at B-back, or fullback.
Meanwhile, junior Tyler Thigpen and sophomores Alonzo Hill and Devin Frails will line up at A-back, or flanking backs.
Taylor Camp will line up at tight end and also will join Taylor and Mills at linebacker.
Dalton Overby and Hunter Hamilton will fill the defensive end spots, while Hill and Jesse Gay will play in the secondary.
Lewis lost only four seniors from last year's squad, but said that group's leadership will be extremely difficult to replace.
"I expect that we will hold on and do fairly well, but it's going to be how well the seniors this year do compared to the four who left," Lewis said.
"Those four kids led us well. ... They did a heck of a job."