• Departures: FB/LB Kaleb Nicholson, LB Jordan Huntley, FB/LB Luke Perry.
• Key returning players: FB/LB Brian Arnold (Sr.), RB/LB Scot Ames (Sr.), TE/LB Brayton Brading (Sr.), OL/DL Jacob Timmons (Sr.), QB Austin Roberts (Jr.), RB/DB Jordan Eberle (So.), RB/DB Mike Hall (Jr.).
• Key varsity newcomer: FS Cody Estes (So.).
• 2012 recap: The 2012 season didn’t go as expected in Pekin, particularly after consecutive five-win seasons in 2010 and 2011. Not only did the Musketeers only get the one victory, but their closest Mid-Southern Conference loss was a 28-7 defeat to North Harrison. Eastern also became the first team to lose to Silver Creek — 44-18 in Week 4 — since the Dragons reassembled a varsity program two years earlier. The season ended with a 32-0 defeat at the hands of Clarksville in Class 2A Sectional 31.
• 2013 expectations: Replacing the bruising Nicholson could be tough, but Dablow likes what he has returning. The development of Roberts — after a full season under center a year ago — could be the key. Eastern should win more than one game in 2013. Getting back to five wins would still seem to be a difficult goal to attain.