NEWPORT BEACH — Newport Harbor High has the luxury of starting the football season later than most of the local teams.
The Sailors need the extra time with the amount of changes they are dealing with before kicking off the season at home against Trabuco Hills on Sept. 9.
Gone is linebacker Cecil Whiteside, the team's No. 1 player from last season.
Gone is running back Cedric Whitaker, the team's No. 2 player from last season.
Gone is Newport Harbor's 3-4 defense.
Only one first-team All-Sunset League player from a team that finished 6-5, 3-2 in the Sunset League, good for second place, and reached the first round of CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs last year returns.
That player is Parker Norton.
Newport Harbor benefits from the senior starting almost everywhere on the field. Norton will start at wide receiver, cornerback, return punts and kickoffs, and handle holding duties. He cannot do it all by himself.