"We're 22 deep," said the Park City High School girls' soccer coach. "We're looking two-deep in every position and feeling good about it. It's a luxury, for sure."
Not to mention that the Miners are also returning their core group of young, dynamic players. Of the 10 goal-scorers on last year's 3A state semifinal team, only two do not return.
This year the Miners have fireworks and plenty of them.
Juniors Maggie Reigelsperger (13 goals in 2011) and Jessica Dancy (nine goals) will return to pester opposing defenses. Ditto for sophomore forward Alysan Casey, who burst onto to the scene a year ago. Behind them will be senior midfielders and team captains Rachael Papez (four goals) and Anneke Efinger (four goals). Goalkeeper Skye Mooney, who is also a team captain this season, returns for her senior year between the pipes as well as junior defender Taylor Hodgson, who proved to be one of the team's most vital assets down the stretch in 2011.
Unfortunately, winger Sarah Hendrickson, who became a World Cup champion in women's ski jumping, will not be with the team this year as she's recovering from off-season knee surgery.
That's just a few names. According to Cook, the incoming freshmen and sophomore classes are some of the most versatile she's seen and could be heard from sooner than later.
That will be key for a Park City team that lost to the eventual 3A state champion Ogden Tigers in last year's semifinal; not many coaches can say they're solid at every position, but Cook reiterated that, if needed, she could call upon any number of players to step in and make a positive impact.
"They're so skilled and their soccer IQ is so high," she said. "It's good for the program. We are who we have."
Efinger said being a senior captain carries a bit of extra pressure for a team as artistic on the ball as this year's Miners promise to be.
"There's a lot of talent on this team," she said. "We're all very competitive."
Papez said she will force her teammates to work as hard as they can, whether it be in practice or preseason matches. Her goal is to get back to Rio Tinto Stadium.
"We have to step up," she said. "We have to inspire people to work harder and be positive. You can't just go into a game thinking you're going to win."
Efinger said there was a noticeable "leadership gap" a year ago, and with the talent this Park City team possesses, she will try her very best to get her team back to the 3A state title match.
"We want it really, really bad," she said. "It's something that we've dreamt of, playing at Rio Tinto and hearing the crowd cheer our name, not the ones crying back in the locker room."
Cook said she is eager to see how the team comes together on the pitch. She said talent is talent, but if it doesn't translate into successful possession-style play and wins, then it won't mean much in the end.
The first two tests are 4A Logan Thursday and 4A Mountain Crest Friday morning in Cache Valley.
"They don't count for anything but ego," she said of preseason matches. "But we like to put forth our best effort and set the tone for the whole season during those games. We like to play around a little bit with lineups and formations, but we don't like to get too wild."
With the firepower and sheer speed the offense possesses, along with the stability in the midfield and in goal, the biggest task will be molding the flair on this Park City squad.
"I think we always have the potential to make a run at it," Cook said. "I think with our overall talent level this year and our depth, we're going to challenge everybody we play. Whether we can put it together chemistry-wise remains to be seen, but we feel confident."