Who emerges at quarterback? Junior Brandon Rummelhart and senior West Liberty transfer Cooper Koenig are locked in a fall camp battle to replace departed senior Lucas Lamont. Whoever earns the starting job will have big shoes to fill, as Lamont accounted for nearly 2,000 yards of total offense and 29 touchdowns last season.
What will Luke Lenoch do for an encore? Lenoch turned in the best statistical season by a West Branch running back in program history as a sophomore, setting school records with 2,105 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns. Lenoch also set the single-game rushing mark with 324 yards in a win over North Cedar.
Is this season the year West Branch returns to the UNI-Dome? West Branch had visions of returning to the UNI-Dome last season, but had its perfect record snapped in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs. West Branch is seeking its first semifinal appearance since 2011.
Will a rebuilt defensive line grow into an imposing front four? West Branch must replace all four starters, including all-state tackle Jacob Giese, from a defensive line that helped the Bears hold opponents to 9.8 points per game last season.
How will offensive line reload? The bread and butter for the Bears last season was a road-grading offensive line. Starting guards Drew Finnegan and Ryan Grosvenor return, but West Branch must replace a pair of stellar tackles in all-staters Giese and Jon St. John, as well as center Matt McIlrath.