The Warriors won the 5A Mid-Willamette Conference — their first league championship in 21 years — and finished 12-1 overall. A victory over Wilsonville in the title game capped the historic season.

Despite losing seven all-state selections, Ty Tomlin isn’t going to let 2017 be classified as a rebuilding year.

Tomlin, a 1997 Lebanon High graduate entering his fifth season as head coach, has loved what he’s seen early in camp.

“These kids are honestly further ahead of last year’s group,” Tomlin said. “It’s the first time since we’ve been here that we haven’t had to put in a new offense or defense, and that’s a big deal.”

Lebanon has improved every year under Tomlin, finishing 1-8 in 2013 and 3-6 the following season before jumping to 6-4 in 2015. A 16-14 home loss to South Albany was the Warriors’ lone blemish last fall.

Tomlin and company are well aware of the upcoming challenge. In the 11-year history of 5A, only West Albany (2007-08) has won consecutive state titles.

“It’s a grind,” Tomlin said. “People don’t understand how long and how hard the season is for a team to go through that.”

Outbrain