Team preview: Gardner-Webb

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Before the 2005-06 season, everyone was lining up to hand out preseason honors to Gardner-Webb. Six talented seniors and plenty of quality depth made the Bulldogs a sexy pick to win the league.

What a difference a year makes.

This fall, the only things likely to be handed out in Boiling Springs are nametags. With 11 new players -- nine scholarship athletes and two walk-ons -- joining the program, it will take a while for everyone to get aquatinted.

"Obviously it's a difficult task replacing the six seniors we had, but we are excited about the character and ability of these student-athletes," coach Rick Scruggs said. "We will certainly be young and inexperienced for the next couple of years, but we feel that this class will pay off down the road, similarly to the most recent group of seniors."

Gardner-Webb may not be entering the season with the kind of experience it had last year, but there is plenty of talent to be found thanks to a recruiting class ranked as high as the 49th best class in D-I. The eleven newcomers will join a couple of players who saw their share of action last season.