The Palisade football team comes into the 2017-2018 season ranked No. 8 in CHSAA Class 3A.
They went 10-2 overall and 5-0 in league play last season on their way to a Western Slope League title.
However the Bulldogs will have a different look to them this time around. They lose running back Isaa Maestas and Quarterback P.D. Riddle who were not only catalysts for their patented power-style football, but team captains as well.
Senior Austin Bernal will be getting most of the backfield reps.
Head coach Joe Rammuno compared Bernal to a current NFL player and son of a Bronco great.
"He's a great leader and a very competitive young man," Rammuno says. "He's like (Christian) McCaffrey for us. He's that kid who can do everything. All the players respond to him. It's fun for him. He's kind of enjoying all this."
Bernal took the comparison wholeheartedly.
"That's a huge compliment, especially coming from him," Bernal says. "I hope I can fill those kind of shoes and hopefully we can be successfull as a team."
Despite P.D. Riddle graduating there may be another Riddle under center for the Bulldogs. P.D.'s brother Christian is an option for the starting quarterback position.
Christian is ready to start his own legacy.
"Looking up to my brother is a big role, especially since I didn't want to live in his footsteps or anything like that," Riddle says. "But he's great to look up to and it was great being out there with him and learning a lot from him. We've lost a few players so we have to change and morph into a different team so we can progress through it and kind pick it up and move on from where we left off."
Palisade opens up the season on August 25 on the road against Central