Philomath, OR. -- It’s early in the morning but the Warriors are putting in work in hopes of building a team that can win a 4A state title. Philomath finished with a 2-6 overall record in 2018. But with a more demanding offseason program, the players feel physically and mentally prepared for week one.
“We’ve been lifting weights since last winter and spring,” said senior running back Colby Roe. “And after we workout, we practice some plays and go through basic stuff. So it gives us a head start going into the season.”
The offseason workouts aren’t the only changes around here. The Warriors are switching systems. And they're doing so because they lost some size up front. But like all great teams do, they adapt.
“One of the things I believe is that you have to do what you do based on your kids,” said second-year head coach Tony Matta. “So last year we were big up front and physical. We played with I-backs and I didn’t care if we put eight guys in the box. We were going to run you over and we were pretty good at that. But we just can’t line up and out muscle teams this year.”
And the seniors on this Warrior squad know this is the last opportunity for them to represent their school proud.
“I’m mostly excited because it’s my last year trying to have a lot of fun just because this is the last time I’ll be able to play with these guys,” said Brody Hiner.
And the guys are eager and enthusiastic for week one against the South Albany RedHawks. You can practically see the smiles through their facemasks.
“I think they're excited and I’m excited,” said Matta. “Every year you’re like I can’t wait until it starts. I don’t sleep much. It’s just excited to be out here and for it to be official.”