Football players often are referred to as warriors and the games as battles.
While it is hyperbole to describe them as such, the players at Herriman at least got to experience boot camp for "hell week."
ASSIGNMENT » Region 4
LAST YEAR » 8-3 overall, 4-1 Region 7
KEY RETURNER » Brandon Farmer, sr., RB. Farmer scored seven touchdowns and rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a junior.
PLAYER TO WATCH » Ben Richard, sr., OLB/FB. Pearce believes Richard, a three-year varsity player and a starter as a junior, is poised to have a breakout senior year.
BIGGEST HOLE » Youth and inexperience, especially at the quarterback position, where junior Braydon Kener and senior Kyle Strauss — neither took snaps last season — still are battling for the starting job.
NEED TO KNOW » The Mustangs are making the jump to Class 5A and face a daunting schedule both in and out of Region 4.
The Mustangs spent the week of Aug. 12 at Camp Williams in Riverton. They slept in the barracks, trained on an obstacle course and even repelled down buildings. And of course they held two-a-day football practices and team meetings.
"It’s a unique situation for our kids to be able to get away," said Dustin Pearce, the Mustangs’ new coach. "No electronics, just football for five days. It’s good for our team-building experiences. … We left all our phones. There’s no distraction, just football."
If the camp helps Herriman get better and become closer as a team, like the coaches hope it will, 2013 could be a successful season.
The Mustangs return just nine players who were starters last season, but that includes high-caliber players like seniors Brandon Farmer and Connor Johnson. Farmer rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, and some smaller schools and in-state colleges are recruiting Johnson, who is a long and athletic wide receiver target at 6 foot 4.
Herriman also returns very experienced players, like lineman Nick Williams and linebacker Ben Richard, who have played varsity since Herriman opened in 2010.
Pearce has yet to name a quarterback, but he hopes that the team rallies around his choice. The boot camp atmosphere at Camp Williams should help.
"There’s definitely something added to the element when you have to partner up to go to dinner, partner up to go to bed," Pearce said. "It’s definitely something that will help your camaraderie, and guys get to know each other and be able to function as one."
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