Gerald Goodridge, News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- After a 12-2 run to claim the school's first state title in more than 30 years, the Douglass Trojans are an easy pick to repeat in Class 4A.

But don't tell that to the Trojans or head coach Willis Alexander.

"That was last year's team," Alexander said. "Each year's team is different. It's like I told them ‘Last year's team is last year's team. This year's team is this year's team. What is going to be this year's team's mark on the history of this program?"

The Trojans have to replace a key part of the equation from last year's Gold Ball team, halfback Aliston Cobb, who rushed for more than 2,200 yards and 32 scores in his final season with Douglass, a fact that Alexander is well-aware of.

"We lost some good players, but [the] kids have been in the program for a while and you know they understand what it takes," Alexander said. "We had an opportunity last year to get a lot of guys some playing time. We just need to continue to get better."

One of those young players will be junior Dion'Tay Washington, who managed to rush for more than 1,000 yards and 14 scores as a secondary option out of the backfield in his sophomore season, with Arizona commit Cayman Bundage opening holes up front.

Douglass opens its season in marquee fashion, taking on Desoto High School, a Texas 5A semifinalist from a season ago, Sept. 5 at Cowboy's Stadium in Arlington, Texas.