No Buddy Farnham '10. No Bobby Sewall '10. No problem — at least according to football coaches and players heading into the new football season.
Despite having to replace close to 2,500 all-purpose yards provided by the two All-Ivy receivers, the Bears are confident that the offense will be as explosive as ever. The Bears' offensive unit led the Ivy League in total production with 396.6 yards per game last year. To maintain their high-powered attack, the Bears will rely on a number of new faces to help fill the void left by Farnham and Sewall.
While admitting to the need to adjust to the graduation of the two star wideouts, Head Coach Phil Estes spoke highly of their replacements.
"There are routes we can't run anymore but we have enough guys to replace all that we lost," Estes said.
Many receivers will look to fill the void left by Farnham and Sewall, including Matt Sudfeld '11, Alex Tounkara '11 and Jimmy Saros '12. While Sudfeld has the most game experience, the coaches expect all the receivers to contribute significantly this year.
Helping to ease the receivers' transition is tri-captain Kyle Newhall-Caballero '11 at quarterback — a First Team All-Ivy selection in his first year as a starter last season.
Some people "look at what we lost, and not so much what we have," Newhall-Caballero said. "We have talent. We just haven't had a chance for those guys to show it."
Despite setting numerous team and Ivy League records in 2009, Newhall-Caballero still believes he has room for improvement.
"The biggest thing about the second year is you're experienced," he said. "You know what to expect and how to react. You're seeing what the defense is giving you and not so much trying to get through each play."
A revamped cast of offensive linemen will provide Newhall-Caballero with enough time to find open receivers. While left tackle and tri-captain Patrick Conroy '11 and right guard Brian Ellixson '11 return as starters, the Bears will have to replace three All-Ivy players on the line. Joining Conroy and Ellixson this year will be John Cook '11, Jack Geiger '12 and Evan Johnson '12.
While Brown's passing attack has gained much of the acclaim in recent years, the Bears return Second Team All-Ivy selection Zach Tronti '11 at running back. Returning from an ACL tear that kept him out of the last two games of 2009, Tronti is healthy again and ready to contribute.
The Bears are also excited about the maturation of running back Mark Kachmer '13 — an "explosive" athlete, Tronti said, who will be integrated into the offense this year. The Bears will also benefit from the return of Alex Prestley '11, a tight end adept at both blocking and catching.
With the season fast approaching, coaches and players alike have highlighted the importance of completing drives and being more efficient in the red zone. Despite finishing second in Ivy League scoring last year, trailing only Harvard, Estes still believes the team left too many points on the field. This year, the Bears will try to improve on that scoring mark with a retooled offense.
An earlier version of the article gave the incorrect name for Bobby Sewall '10. The Herald regrets the error.