It's been said that familiarity breeds contempt. At Cape Coral High, they think it breeds success.
The Seahawks enter 2013 in the second year of coach Larry Gary's system, and there are plenty of players returning who have gained experience in that scheme.
"Our kids have come a long way, and that's because most of them are veterans," Gary said. "Now they know us, they know the staff. The staff was almost 90 percent different from the past. Now they have a year under their belts.
Cape Coral senior Curtis Young runs through a drill at practice as area teams make final preparations for Friday’s preseason games.
"They know what we're all about, they know our philosophy, they know our scheme. Now they believe in what we're trying to do. We're just anxious to see how it's going to unfold."
The Seahawks have a pair of quarterbacks who got a chance to mature in understudy roles a year ago.
"Our quarterback situation is - having been so solid - these guys were young last year and we didn't want to throw them in," Gary said.
Cape Coral Seahawks
(All games 7:30 p.m.)
Aug. 23 - vs. Riverdale (preseason)
Aug. 30 - at East Lee County
Sept. 6 - vs. Estero
Sept. 13 - at Ida Baker
Sept. 20 - vs. Cypress Lake-x
Sept. 27 - at North Fort Myers-x
Oct. 4 - at Island Coast-x
Oct. 11 - vs. Lemon Bay-x
Oct. 18 - vs. Dunbar-x
Oct. 25 - vs. Lehigh
Head Coach: Larry Gary ('12), 2nd year (4-6)
Assistants: Calvin Hudgins (OC/QB), Tim Copeland (OL), Mike Ruth (DB), Jamal Rogers (WR), Rev Watkins (LB), Mike Sturgis (DL), Lorenzo Covington (DL), Rich Ruth (DB), Jim Elkins (OL)
Team Colors: Orange and Blue Stadium: Dave Warkentin Field, 2300 Santa Barbara Blvd. Class/District: 5A-14
Playoff History: 1980 - Venice 32, Cape Coral 6; 1993 - Cape Coral 10, Jupiter 0; Cape Coral 34, Auburndale 20; Deerfield Beach 12, Cape Coral 10 (Semifinals). 2005 - Bradenton Manatee 27, Cape Coral 20. 2007 - Cape Coral 27, Venice 10; Cape Coral 31, Manatee 28; Largo 28, Cape Coral 13. 2008 -Venice 35, Cape Coral 14. 2009 - Cape Coral 27, Lakewood Ranch 0; Charlotte 24, Cape Coral 16. 2010 - Cape Coral 23, Palmetto 3; Charlotte 7, Cape Coral 0. 2011 - Cape Coral 28, Golden Gate 27 (OT); Immokalee 54, Cape Coral 7.
Home: 2-4 Away: 2-2 District: 3-2
Cape 40, North Fort Myers 2
Ida Baker 30, Cape 20
Lely 23, Cape 22
x-Cape 30, Cypress Lake 0
x-Estero 20, Cape 3
Immokalee 30, Cape 10
x-Cape 24, Mariner 17
x-Cape 48, Lehigh 42
x-East Lee County 32, Cape 20
Island Coast 42, Cape 17
Instead, when Kurt Benkert transferred to Island Coast for the 2012 season, senior Trey Daniels moved from linebacker to quarterback.
"If Trey Daniels could have stayed healthy he'd have been a hell of a quarterback," Gary said.
"Right now we have two guys in Dylan Bontrager and Elliot Pierce competing for our quarterback situation, and those guys' confidence is a lot better than last year."
Whichever quarterback wins the job, he'll have veteran protection up front.
"The line is set," Gary said. "It's an experienced line. We have a lack of depth, but we have three impact players on that line in Kirby Shell, David Morris and big James Hall. Those guys are going to have to lead our line. We're looking for a lot of great things out of that line.
"That line is probably going to be responsible for Eamon Smart getting his yards."
Smart ran for 1,209 yards and eight touchdowns a year ago as a junior. Cape also has experience returning in the receiving corps.
"Our receivers, with Rasheen Bailey - our most experienced guy, our impact guy - we haven't had more depth in a long time with our receiving corps.
"We didn't lose many guys," Gary said. "We have a lot of guys like Austin Cole, Rhasheed Jiles, Miguel Repress and Rasheed McCoy. We should be in pretty good shape."
Gary is also happy with the way the other side of the ball is looking.
"We're solid. We have a lot of experience on the defense," Gary said. "Our front line, with Curtis Young, our leader in sacks with 15, and on the other end James Zamor. Sam Hunter could be the best defensive tackle in Southwest Florida. And then Hakeem Thomas they all are experienced linemen.
"The linebackers are solid. Angel Torres and Colin Loethen, 'Sheed Giles and Derrick Hall, a solid in-the-box guy. At the corners we have two starters back with Miguel Repress and John Roberts. They're going to lead the secondary."
There's a lot of change in the district from a year ago. Lemon Bay comes from Class 7A, Island Coast from 6A and Dunbar from 4A. All three were playoff teams in 2012.
Mariner and Cypress Lake are also in the new District 5A-14 as returning district opponents.
"It's tougher than last year, I tell you," Gary said. "Island Coast and Dunbar, they're teams that last year made the playoffs. Lemon Bay, coming from farther north, they were in the playoffs. "
East Lee County and Estero, the two playoff teams from District 5A-11 in 2012, are no longer district opponents for the Seahawks but remain on the schedule. Lehigh also is a non-district foe.
"It's no easy road," Gary said. "The kids know that if we don't prepare for a bumpy road, we're headed for a dead end."