COACH: John Reardon, 21st year
LAST SEASON: 4-6; 6th in league, 2-5
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Reardon must replace his entire offensive backfield and both wide receiver positions. Junior Geoff Freedman (5-9, 165), an occasional starter at tailback, will be the featured ballcarrier in Rio Mesa's I formation. Possible fullbacks include juniors Jonathan Severn (5-10, 175), Wyatt Anderson (5-9, 150) and Lance Northcutt (6-0, 215). Northcutt may end up on the offensive line, where the Spartans are weakest despite the return of senior tackle Charlie Craig (6-5, 240), who missed the final seven games of the season with appendicitis. Severn also plays defensive back, and Northcutt will start at linebacker. Senior Keith Mims (6-3, 195) is expected to play tight end and defensive end. Leading aspirants at wide receiver are senior Darrick Jones (6-3, 185), a returning starter at defensive back, and junior Paul Ordonez (6-1, 180). Reardon is calling for a return to a more physical brand of football than Rio Mesa played last season. "Our football has always been rock 'em, sock 'em," he said. "Last year we got away from that. We tried to finesse it last year, and we finessed ourselves right out of contention."