With 11 returning starters and 17 returning lettermen, Fitch has reason to be optimistic that it can improve on last year's 1-9 season. Quarterback Jon Ballard, who went through growing pains at times last season, is back and should be more comfortable in Annarella's offense. RB/DB Sylvestry Gibbs, RB/LB Nick Groat and WR/DB Chris Smaldino are playing their third year of varsity ball, as are linemen Cody Jones, Nico Mancuso, Chris Miller and D.J. Moss. The key is to get some early success and build on it, since Fitch doesn't get any favors from its schedule.