Coach: Michael Hertz, third season (15-10)
2017 Record: 8-5, 5-2 Southwestern 4A
Returning Starters: Offense, 9; Defense, 5
Porter Ridge averaged 33 points a game last year. Most of that firepower is back, making the Pirates a Southwestern 4A conference contender.
With quarterback Grayson McCall and running back Jaylen Coleman, the offense will be good.
The defense has just five returnees, but depth should be a plus for the Pirates.
McCall (6-3, 200) returns after winning the conference offensive player of the year honors last fall. He rushed for 907 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was 84-of-145 passing for 1,414 yards and 13 touchdowns through the air. Army is one of five offers McCall currently holds.
Coleman, who is a Duke commit, made the switch from receiver to running back last season. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior averaged 107 yards rushing a game. Coleman had 179 carries for 1,287 yards and 15 touchdowns. Senior Malcolm Hines (5-9, 180) also returns to the Pirates backfield after rushing for 1,174 yards and 11 touchdowns. Hines and Coleman are also threats to catch the football out of the backfield.
Senior Will McDonald (6-2, 290) will anchor the offensive line.
Graduation hit the receivers hard, but senior Jaylin Daniels (5-11, 155) will headline a group looking to get the passing game revved up a little more.
Senior Mason Swiger (6-2, 180) and junior Davidson Carroll (6-2, 185) bring experience to the defensive line at end.
Junior Jared Wheatley will anchor the linebackers after recording 55 tackles last fall. Junior Connor Henderson (6-1, 210) and Dylan Burdette (5-9, 190) played a bunch last year and are back.
Edric Lutuangu and Kirkland Harris will play in the defensive secondary after appearing in all 13 games last season. Alex Chapman is also expected to contribute at safety.
Charlotte 49er commit Wheatley will handle all the kicking duties. He was 45-of-51 on PATs and 8-of-12 on field goals last season, while averaging 36 yards a punt. Kirkland Harris will return punts and maybe kicks.