After 14 straight trips to the postseason, Big Foot took a one-year hiatus in 2017.
The Chiefs struggled through a 3-6 season and dealt with a rash of injuries, including a season-ending knee injury to two-time all-state selection Jackson Enz.
Fifth-year coach Greg Enz believes the Chiefs can turn things around in 2018.
"What I'm most excited about right now is that our energy level is high along with our expectations," Enz said. "As a coach, that's so refreshing to see from a group that hasn't proven themselves yet but wants the opportunity to do so.
"Guys are figuring out right now where they fit in and what our identity is going to be, but the parts are there. We just have to make them fit."
Running its patented spread offense, Big Foot put up 29 points per game last season. Unfortunately, the Chiefs gave up more than 39 points per game. The season ended with a 49-0 loss to Evansville/Albany.
"Even though we've got some positions still up in the air, there's no reason we can't be competitive week in and week out," Enz said. "I think the Rock Valley is going to be much more balanced from top to bottom than it has been since I got here."
Enz knows it's not fair to ask someone to step in and fill the role that his son, Jackson, played as the quarterback, defensive back, punter and kicker for the last three years.
Logan Eischeid, who completed nearly 60 percent of his 124 pass attempts a year ago, is the quarterback. The senior brings his own special skill set to the field, according to coach Enz.
"Logan's got a lot of moxie, and we have to find the best way to accentuate his talents," Enz said. "He's not the same type of quarterback that Jackson was, but that doesn't mean he can't be successful."
Eischeid should have quality targets to throw to in senior Aidan Greco and juniors Jack Gillingham and Owen Martin.
Junior Cole Vance could be a game-changer at tailback, according to Enz.
"He's got the ability to get his shoulders square and be a very effective downhill runner for us," Enz said. "That's something I haven't seen in my five years here."
Senior Kolin Leidberg and junior Sam Dickerson will start at guard on the offensive line, while senior Nick Freymiller has been moved to a tackle spot.
Enz brought the 4-2 base defense with him from Little Chute and believes the Chiefs will vastly approve upon the 352 points allowed in nine games last season.
Leidberg will anchor the defensive front, with Gillingham and senior Konor Gerhardt leading a talented secondary.
"We've got some things up in the air right now, but I think everybody in our conference is going through that right now," Enz said. "Our 14 seniors are doing a great job of helping this team generate a lot of energy as we get ready to open the season."
Big Foot roster