PLEASANT VIEW So far during the offseason and fall camp, the Weber Warriors have displayed a winning attitude.
They're hoping it translates into a few more wins.
The Warriors have won just seven games in the last four seasons. Coach Richard Murray, who took over the program prior to the 2005 season, is optimistic about the upcoming season because of his players' attitudes. He's been pleased with how hard his team has worked, and how positive his players have been in workouts.
"Our biggest strength is our attitude," Murray said. "The attitude here is changing, and it's great to be around them. They're working their tails off."
It's far from easy to turn a struggling football program around. The Warriors went 1-8 the year before Murray became the head coach. Weber plays in one of the state's most competitive regions where there are rarely any easy games for anyone.
Despite the factors working against the Warriors this season, Murray is confident Weber can get back on the football map.
"There are so many factors that play into it," Murray said. "The biggest thing is establishing a program. We've been working hard to establish that. I think we're right on the edge of doing that. We're building a program that's solid. You need consistency from players, coaches, administration. There's a lot that goes into it."
Breaking through may be at least another year away for Weber.
The Warriors are a young team, featuring just 13 seniors. Weber has some talented and experienced players on its roster, but a lot of young guys will play this season.
The leader of the team is senior offensive lineman Kai Mendenhall. He was named a team captain as a junior last season. He isn't looking at the 2008 season as a rebuilding one. He's confident that the Warriors will show some improvement this season.
"We're a team that works really hard," Mendenhall said. "We're hungry. We're a team that really wants it."
Junior Dallin Adams will run the team's offense at quarterback, and should be well protected by linemen such as Mendenhall and Kyle Ortega. Chase Thompson and T.J. Moser will have to contribute on both sides of the ball for the Warriors.
Although Weber will play a lot of younger kids, the team will have some depth. Murray said he has more players out for the team this season than he's had in his previous years with the program.
The Warriors expect to give their Region 1 rivals trouble this season. Mendenhall said he and his teammates have enjoyed the work they've put in so far, and they will simply seize their opportunities this season."The seniors don't want to be in the same position we were in last year," Mendenhall said. "We run happy conditioning. We call them happy gassers to remind us every time we come out here this is our last year getting to play. We should play like every day is our last day."
Weber Warriors 2008 prep football preview
COACH: Richard Murray will begin his fourth season as the Warriors' head coach. A Las Vegas native who played at Southern Utah, Murray has a 6-22 overall record at Weber.
KEY PLAYERS: The Warriors are low on seniors, but their leader is a returning captain in (OL) Kai Mendenhall. Junior (QB) Dallin Adams will run the offense, while T.J. Moser is the team's leader on defense. Other players expected to contribute include Chase Thompson and Kyle Ortega.
QUESTION MARK: The Warriors have won two games in each of the last three seasons. Can their roster of young players pull together and stick with it when they face adversity?
LAST YEAR: 2-8, did not qualify for playoffs.
PREDICTED REGION 1 FINISH: Eighth
POSTSEASON POSSIBILITIES: The Warriors play in a loaded region and have a young team. It is unlikely they will qualify for the playoffs.
Aug. 22 at Box Elder, 7 p.m.
Aug. 29 BONNEVILLE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Roy, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 NORTHRIDGE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 SYRACUSE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Davis, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Fremont, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 VIEWMONT, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 CLEARFIELD, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 at Layton, 7 p.m.