HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — It's a familiar problem for Unity Christian--the program is usually high on talent but low on bodies.
Last year the Crusaders started fall camp with only 21 players. They stayed healthy and went on to win the first state championship in school history.
Now they're hoping history repeats itself.
Unity Christian starts 2019 with only 20 varsity players, the second-smallest team in school history.
"What happens with us is we always end up moving pieces around from year to year," said head coach Craig Tibbe.
Tibbe and his team know they have to move past the glory of 2018 and write their own story in 2019. The Crusaders return only seven seniors this season, but that includes key members of the backfield like Hayden Large, Jackson Bush and QB/DB Isaac TeSlaa. They're all helping the younger kids focus on doing the little things right.
"Usually we have a good number of seniors," said Nick Tibbe, Craig's son and a tight end and linebacker for the Crusaders. "But this year we just gotta step up, do our part, encourage the young guys and keep them going and keep them hungry."
Unity Christian starts their title defense on Thursday August 29th at Allendale.