• The Giants are one of the only teams in the state to fully commit to eight-player football for the 2017 season. The biggest concern for coach John Lalor is keeping his team healthy so it has enough players to play. The roster is down to 14 total players after two left the team during the summer.
• Senior running back Mason Mindham (above) returns after leading the Giants with 605 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 99 carries last year. Mindham has emerged as a leader for the team. He will also play safety for the defense.
• Brad Judson started at quarterback for the latter half of last year. The junior will continue to run the offense. Judson completed 43.1 percent of his passes a year ago, throwing for 271 yards and five touchdowns. For everyone on the team, it’s a completely new playbook. Lalor said Judson has picked it up well. “He’s throwing the ball better this year,” Lalor said. “The extra year of maturity has really helped him. He’s playing with a lot of confidence in practice.”
• Junior Justin Strand will take his share of handoffs at running back and could play tight end as well. He will also play linebacker for the defense. Another returning starter with experience is David Reiter, who plays guard. Freshman Tommy Pahl (6-2, 295) will provide a solid option on the offensive line.
• Lalor said he’s not too worried about the offense. With only 14 players on the roster, the Giants haven’t been able to fully scrimmage, so the defense might be more of a work in progress. “(We’re) inexperienced in general,” Lalor said. “I’m worried about our depth. No injuries, keeping guys healthy and eligible. That’s the key to us having a good season. The boys have been working hard. Our biggest key will be keeping everybody healthy and having enough numbers to get through the season.”