Everybody wants Taylorsville for its homecoming date.
The teams want that easy week to celebrate with fans and alumni. They are expecting a team to roll over and carry the party on to the dance floor. And why not? After a 1-9 season, teams are going to underestimate Taylorsville.
"They might think we're everyone's easy week, but we are definitely not going to roll over and die for anybody," Warriors coach Rod Wells said. "We never stop trying. We never stop fighting."
That fight started in January with quarterback Alex Lehauli leading the Warriors in the weight room. The captain, who has been labeled Mr. Gym Rat, is ready to run the spread offense and provide the necessary leadership. Lehauli sets an example that players are quick to follow, and Wells thinks that will be the difference this season.
"We're more explosive, stronger," Wells said. "We're walking with a little bit of swagger that helps propel us into those games. We've got that confidence because we've earned it in January."
With 115 players turning out to practice, Wells has plenty of options. Leroy Ripley will anchor the line at center and nose guard, Tristinn Martinez is a playmaker wide receiver and Emilio Salvador always is a threat for returns.
"Since there is nowhere but up to go, we've circled every game this year," Wells said. "We're going to win because we've done the necessary offseason work.
The Warriors open at home against Kearns on Aug. 23.
ASSIGNMENT • Region 2
LAST YEAR • 1-9 overall, 0-5 Region 2
KEY RETURNER • Alex Lehauli has worked incessantly in the gym to be stronger and faster than ever. Expect the 6-foot quarterback to befuddle defenses with his arm and legs.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Lineman Leroy Ripley is a potential Division I prospect. His strength and agility will play a big role in blocking for Lehauli.
BIGGEST HOLE • Coach Wells wants to focus on getting his receiving corps in top shape before the first game.
NEED TO KNOW • Taylorsville is motivated to break the hearts of every homecoming queen. The Warriors are scheduled to play four homecoming games this season.