MANITOU SPRINGS — Stu Jeck moves over from assistant coach into the head coach role for the Manitou Springs football team.
"I think every year you got to start over. We lost a good senior class, but we got a great senior class coming up."
Manitous Springs is coming back looking to defend its 2A state title in the midst of filling in some key positions with some younger talent.
"We got a couple of spots defensively that we're going to have some sophomore's playing at, but they're super athletic, they're super coachable, and they've been doing everything we've asked of them so far."
One of the team's biggest tasks is replacing senior quarterback Caleb Allen who is recovering from ACL surgery, leaving it up to one sophomore to engineer this offense.
"He tore it late, so I didn't think I'd have to play, but you have to step up at some point," said Nate Gentzel.
The timing is earlier than Gentzel anticipated, but his teammates feel the transition has been an easy one.
"I feel like our new Q-B is doing amazing," said senior guard Anthony Snow.
Whether they were on the field or the sidelines for that 2A Championship game, every player wants that same electric energy they felt when they battled through double overtime to bring home their first state title since 1990.
"Just kind of let everything click again and absolutely play like we were in that state game," said Snow.