ABILENE, TX -

Cooper High School hit the field Monday for it's first practice of the season, and with this years roster, the Cougars are confident.

After a long off season, the Cooper Cougars are back and ready more than ever for a new season. Despite losing four division one recruits, the team's identity is still on their experience.

"We have a lot more experience coming back than people will give us credit for," explained Cooper head coach Todd Moebes. "Being able to rely on that experience, and being prepared as a varsity football player in the past is certainly something we're showing out here today."

A featured piece of that group is Hunter Hawkins and the offensive line. The group that also features Division I prospect Johnathan Nicholson. The two captains are focused this season on protecting their new quarterback David Ruot.

"We control what David does. "If we get our job done, then it's going to be a whole lot easier for David to get his job done. We're just focusing on what we need to do," stated the offensive guard Hawkins.

For the new man under center, he isn't worried about his veterans.

"Those guys know exactly what they are doing," said Ruot. "They are guys who can step up and lead and know what they are doing on their own without me having to step up and tell them what to do."

Together, Nicholson and Hawkins will not only help lead the o-line this season, but serve as the backbone of the experience the Cooper Cougars will rely. A task they must do together in order to make a deep playoff run.