For head coach Phil Willard, that means this summer has been dedicated to improving not just skill, but size as well.
"We are a young football team, we only have four starters coming back," he said. "So, we needed to get bigger and stronger and our total team has accomplished that."
The Hornets posted a 5-6 record last season with a first-round exit in the Class 3 playoffs.
Now, the team has a new field to call home, and a new attitude.
"We're ready for anybody. We're pretty strong right now," senior defensive lineman Alec Whiteside said. We've had a good summer of weight-lifting and good attendance, so we're ready to go."
Willard says the team will continue to stress the run game in 2012, but won't be afraid to air it out.
"We hope to mix in the pass a little bit to help keep the defenses at bay a little bit."
"I think we're a lot faster than what we usually are," senior fullback D.J. Gannan. "It's not the typically Chillicothe power running game, but we're still going to do Chillicothe football. We're still going to run it. But our typical backs, they'll break it to the outside because they've got the speed".
The Hornets are well aware of the tough conference schedule ahead, but feel, if they can stay injury free, they could be a team to watch for this season.
"There's going to be just a tough MEC schedule again," Willard said, "so we're just hoping to take it one at a time and hoping we can stay healthy and stay competitive."
"With the new district play and everything, we're pretty excited," Whiteside said. "To be honest, I feel like we have a good shot. If we all work hard and hit hard, like I know we can, I think we'll be good. I think we can go far."