Capital tries to wipe out a painful end to its previous season when it kicks off the new year at 7:30 tonight at Greenbrier East.
The Cougars dropped their final three games last season and finished out of the playoffs at 5-5. However, all signs point to optimism this year as they've got speed to burn at the skill positions.
Coach Jon Carpenter plans to split quarterbacking duties between junior Carrington Morris and freshman Tyhree Pratt. Morris, who started the final four games of 2011, came out smoking in last week's MSAC Grid-o-rama, hitting on all six of his passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns.
Morris will shift to a receiving spot when the promising Pratt enters the game under center.
"Him going to receiver is as much about what he can do as what Pratt can do,'' Carpenter said.
Other potential gamebreakers for Capital are running back James Richmond and receivers Kashaun Haley and Cliff Pratt. In last year's opener against East, a 42-26 Cougars victory, Richmond ran for 123 yards and caught two scoring passes.
The Spartans return QB Isaiah Kinder, who threw for about 800 yards and six TDs last season and ran for nearly 600 yards and six scores.
East also features a refugee from the girls soccer team, Ashton Holliday, kicking extra points and field goals.
In other games involving Kanawha Valley teams:
Hurricane won a defensive struggle last year 17-10, but the Redskins figure to have enough skill players to keep the chains moving this season, including returning QB Austin Hensley.
"I've gotten a lot faster and a lot stronger,'' Hensley said, "and I've been able to throw the ball downfield better.''
The Generals have tinkered with a no-huddle offense in the preseason.