GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Don Fellows built a winner very quickly at Grand Rapids Christian. His program piqued in 2012 by winning the state championship at Ford Field.
When last season began, many felt Christian was poised to repeat as state champs, but that didn't happen.
After winning back-to-back O.K. White Conference crowns, Christian watched Lowell win the conference, then the Eagles lost to Zeeland West in playoff week two, and the run was done.
Fellow's 2014 version of the Christian Eagles will look vastly different from recent years.
Offensively, Christian is only returning three starters.
The Eagles' starting quarterback will be a player who primarily lined up on the defensive side of the ball the last two years.
Luke Thompson is entering his junior year, and will be Christian's new signal-caller in 2014.
"Coming into camp last summer, we were alright as practice started, but this year we're stepping things up," said Thompson. "It feels like the state championship team."
For Christian to make any headway in the O.K. White this season, it'll have to rely on its defense, at least for the first few weeks as the new-look offense comes together.
Eagles will return 8 players on the defensive side of the ball, 7 of whom played on the state championship team two seasons ago.
Christian's biggest opponent might be their schedule in 2014, particularly the road games.
"We go to Muskegon in week two, then at Zeeland East two weeks after that, then at Lowell two weeks after that, then at east Grand Rapids in week 8," said Fellows. "It's going to be a daunting task for us this year."