CALCUTTA - For a program that has gone 5-35 the last four seasons, Beaver Local only has one way to go, and that's up.
Jeremy McElroy has the same feeling as he leads the Beavers into his second season at the helm.
''Last year we went 2-8 but we beat our rivals, so that's always sweet,'' McElroy said. ''We had a nice first All-American win in the history of being in the league. That was nice, but it's not as good as we want to be or where we want to be. We're going to improve on that.''
One area that McElroy will be counting on to lead the charge is the offensive line, as four of the five starters return for their senior seasons.
''We're inexperienced in some of the skill spots, but we have some good senior leadership out of some linemen,'' he said. ''We're excited about those guys. We have a lot of experience. We're counting on them.''
That senior line will consist of Tanner Smith, Stephan Lucas, Cody Martsoff and Joe Jackson, while juniors Colton Beckwith, Jason Sims, Austin Lawrence and Mason Campbell will compete for the open spot.
Sophomores Tristen Clendenning and Trent Young will give the Beavers depth with freshmen Cody Campbell, Jason Johnston, Chandler Joseph, Donnie Little and David Mellinger also in the ranks of reserve.
That line will be looking to pave the way for senior running back Morley Marsden, junior Kole McKenzie and sophomore Robby Johntson.
''We have three (backs) that are standing out,'' McElroy noted. ''We also have a host of sophomores that are working for some time in there.''
Those second-year players include Justin Flowers, Dustin Martsoff, and Jason Keyes. Other backs on the roster include juniors Ken Armstrong and Brad Scarsella with freshman Drew McCoy and Dawson Cain also on the list.
The starting quarterback job was still up for grabs in camp, but McElroy says it will be either sophomore Trevore McLaughin or Devon Zellers.
Backup quarterbacks are junior Chris Sigley and freshman Terry Adkins.
Whichever sophomore is called upon, he'll be throwing the ball to fellow sophomores Bryce McKenzie and Tyler Straton, along with juniors Hayden Grafton and Chase Hillard.
Seniors Justin McCoy, Dominic Liguori, and Dylan Cain will also look for playing time at receiver, while juniors Brandon Wilson, Cody Riddle, Connor Hall, Dana Swartz, Justin Davis, and freshmen Zach Brahm and Christain Lipps will provide depth off the bench.
Tight ends on the Beavers roster are senior Tyler Higgins, juniors Seth Marshall and Dalton Zellers, and sophomores Justin McNicol and Tyler Kelly.
On defense, the Beavers will be looking to replace their entire secondary, while returning three linebackers and one defensive linemen.
''Cody Martoff is going to be good for us on the defensive line,'' McElroy said. ''He did a good job for us last year.''
Other linemen are Smith, Lucas, Martsoff, Higgins, Jackson, Beckwith, Sims, Lawrence, Campbell, Woodburn, Clendenning, Young, Knecht, Campbell, Johnston, Joseph, Little and Mellinger.
McKenzie and Reynolds will return to their inside linebacker spots, while Railing, Marsden, Marshall, Armstrong, Martsoff, Zellers, Adkins, McCoy and Cain will try to battle it out for the two outside spots.
''The inside backers, McKenzie and Reynolds, they took over and did a good job for us last year. Those are the guys we're looking for good things from.''
McElroy will have many options to fill the four secondary positions as McCoy, Liguori, Cain, Grafton, Sigley, Hall, Swartz, Scarsella, Hillard, Davis, McKenzie, McLaughin, Johnston, Stratton, Brahm and Lipps are all listed as ready defensive backs on the roster.
Oak Glen returns to the Beavers schedule after a one-year absence, while East Palestine, Ashtabula Edgewood and Cambridge will be new on the 2013 slate.
''East Liverpool is always a big one for the kids. We start the season locally with Crestview. That's a game our kids are looking forward to, being the first one. Then we play Oak Glen and East Palestine. All three of those are local schools, so kids know the kids and everything else. We're excited about those games.
''We're going to be a better team. Our young kids are going to gain experience and we're relying on that line. I feel good about where the group is at and where our team is at right now.''
McElroy has a veteran staff assisting him in Rich Washinko, Ed Rankin, Rich Schilling, Ken Chupa and David Allen, Steve Mercer, Kyle Brown and Jeremy Christen.
Dylan Cain, Tyler Higgins, Dominic Liguori, Stephan Luca, Cody Martsoff, Morley Marsden, Justin McCoy, Joe Jackson, Dylan Railling, Tanner Smith.
Ken Armstrong, Colton Beckwith, Mason Campbell, Hayden Grafton, Connor Hall, Chase Hillard, Austin Lawerence, Seth Marshall, Kole McKenzie, Cody Riddle, Brad Scarsella, Jason Sims, Chris Sigley, Dana Swartz, Brandon Wilson, Dalton Zellers.
Tristen Clendenning, Justin Davis, Justin Flowers, Robert Johnston, Tyler Kelly, Jason Keyes, Charles Knecht, Dustin Martsoff, Bryce McKenzie, Trevore McLaughin, Justin McNicol, Tyler Stratton, Mike Woodburn, Trent Young, Devon Zellers.
Terry Adkins, Zach Brahm, Dawson Cain, Cody Campbell, Chandler Joseph, Christian Lipps, Donnie Little, Drew McCoy, David Mellinger.