The list of key losses reads like a phone book for the Liberty High football team.
After a senior-laden team went 3-7 in 2011, Lions coach Nate Smith is looking at a youth movement in Brentwood this year. All 11 starters on defense are gone as well as all five starters on the offensive line.
More than the playmaking, the loss of so many seniors has created a leadership void for the Lions. What progress the team makes this year will likely hinge on how it steps up and takes command in that area.
"It's going to be interesting to see how these guys grow up," Smith said. "We're really going to need to look for more leadership from younger grade levels where we didn't have to do that last year."
Smith does have one piece to the puzzle that any coach would like -- a returning starter at quarterback.
In Cody Suckow, Liberty welcomes back its offensive leader and primary playmaker. He'll have less of a margin for error considering one of his top targets of a year ago, receiver Nick West, moved out of the area.
"Whether it's run game or his throwing the ball or running the read option we've been working on, he has to put it on his shoulders that way," Smith said of his quarterback. "And he wants to. He's been the unquestioned leader of this team from day one."
Austin Solari also returns at running back, and Smith said receiver Brad Foote will play a big role on the perimeter.
Suckow will have an entirely new offensive
"I'm really pleased with the progress our line has made," Smith said. "Our young guys can really play up there."
On the defensive side of the ball, the turnover is even more pronounced. Smith said the team will field 11 new starters, which means there will surely be some growing pains along the way.
Liberty kicked off the season on Aug. 24 at Livermore but the Cowboys prevailed 20-8. The Lions return home this week to take on West-Tracy on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.
8/24 at Livermore L 20-8
8/31 WEST-TRACY 7 p.m.
9/7 at Hayward (Sunset) 7 p.m.
9/14 CASTRO VALLEY 7:30 p.m.
9/21 at Clayton Valley 7 p.m.
9/28 at Pittsburg* 7 p.m.
10/12 DEER VALLEY* 7 p.m.
10/19 HERITAGE* 7:30 p.m.
10/26 at Antioch* 7 p.m.
11/2 FREEDOM* 7 p.m.