The Cyprus football team has yet to play a regular season game for new coach Scott Woolridge, but they already believe.
Junior quarterback Dennis Kamakana has heard all about Woolridge turning a program around in Nampa, Idaho, and has already seen significant changes since the February hire.
"Everyone bought into the summer conditioning this year," said Kamakana. "Coach got more kids to come out this year and we're looking forward to showing up on the field."
Kamakana is a dual threat at quarterback but make no mistake, the Pirates are going to line up and establish the run. Senior offensive tackle Marco Orozco leads a front five that averages over 250 pounds per man, and is expected to pave the way for a stable of running backs led by Nico Disera.
Disera said the 2012 squad bonded during a team camp in Idaho this summer.
"All of us got out of town and did nothing but think about football," he said. "We played some tough teams and won, and that gives us confidence."
Winning is something that the current group of Pirates isn't accustomed to. Cyprus went 0-9 and while the program is a work in progress, Woolridge is optimistic heading into the season opener with Murray on Aug. 17.
"We've got a good mix of coaches over here and everyone is committed to turning this program around," he said. "It doesn't happen overnight, but if we keep doing the little things, we'll be OK."
LAST SEASON: 0-9, missed playoffs.KEY RETURNER: Dennis Kamakana, junior, quarterback. After gaining some starting experience last year, the dual-threat passer should be a dynamic force for the Pirates.PLAYER TO WATCH: Nico Disera, running back/defensive back. It's hard to determine where he'll be tougher - as a ball-hawker in the secondary, or a hard runner behind the line.BIGGEST HOLE: With a losing streak that stretches back to 2010, the Pirates need to get a few wins under their belts before they can shake history off.NEED TO KNOW: This program, though hopeful, is still looking up at a number of more talented teams in its region. It will be a scrap for a playoff spot - one Cyprus won't be favored to win.SEASON OPENER: Visits Murray. Aug. 17 @ 7 p.m.
Previous postsJuly 25: Introduction/Riverton
July 26: Hunter/Park City
July 27: Kearns/Copper Hills
July 28: Davis/Juan DiegoJuly 30: Olympus/Judge Memorial
July 31: Alta/Grantsville
Aug. 1: Westlake/West Jordan
Aug. 2: Layton/Hillcrest
Aug. 3: Jordan/Lone Peak
Aug. 4: Viewmont/Stansbury
Aug. 6: Lehi