Last season: 10-2 (6-1 in District 5-5A)
Key players: QB Dutch Patterson (5-8, 160), DB Jacob Mueller (6-0, 165), OL Justin Watson (6-0, 250), RB Jay Garcia (5-8, 175), WR Ja’Mayo Simms (5-11, 175), ILB Hunter Harp (6-0, 205), DB Chris Delgado (5-10, 150), WR Jakoby Satroplus (6-0, 165), DE D’Shalon Douglas (5-11, 220) DL Dominick Segoviano (5-8,180), OL Jake Allsbrooks (5-10, 290), DB Breshun Berry (5-7, 150), LB Andrew Fuller (5-10, 190), RB Justin Bratten (5-10, 180), DL Max Michaels (6-0, 260), OL Malieke Brown (6-0, 250)
The big picture: Boswell comes off its first 10-win season under head coach John Abendschan, who is 72-40 since being promoted from defensive coordinator in 2006. Gone is QB Anthony Ramirez, who completed 56 percent of his passes for more than 1,094 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Pioneers will start rugby player Dutch Patterson after incoming starter Gabe Kurtzhals was injured during summer baseball and will be out for the season. Patterson’s inexperience could be offset by the running game. Last year, Ramirez was a 1,000-yard rusher and scored 14 TDs, while returning running back Damon Williams rushed for 1,179 yards and 14 scores on only 117 carries. Boswell also brings back a strong offensive-line core, which could mean the difference if Patterson can click early. On defense, middle linebacker Hunter Harp (112 tackles last year) returns, as do DBs Chris Delgado and Breshun Berry. Despite some injuries over the off-season, Abendschan said the squad should be at full strength toward the season opener.
Quotable: “It’s going to be an interesting year, and we get tested right off the bat. We have a great group of seniors and a tough nondistrict schedule. We’ll know where we’re at pretty quick, and then I think we’ve got one of the toughest districts in the state now.” — Coach John Abendschan
“We’ve just been working hard. A lot of people thought we should have gone farther in the playoffs. I thought we should have gone farther, but that just means we have a lot to prove this year.” — RB Damon Williams
“We did lose some guys, but we have some good returners and some guys that can step up and play for us. For me, I spent the summer working on things that can help me be a better tackler.” — DB Jacob Mueller
“Almost the entire front seven comes back for us; the main thing for us was working on some things that we struggled with last season. I think we could have been better against the triple option last season and so we’re doing some things differently to work on that.” — LB Andrew Fuller
Notable: Boswell’s 2015 playoff run ended in a 28-10 loss to Burleson Centennial in the second round, but the Pioneers had beaten Centennial 41-38 in the regular season. The two will square off in the season opener Aug. 26.