The Enterprise football team, which returns six starters, faces an uphill climb in Class 2A South, where heavies San Juan, Beaver and Grand reside.
But Enterprise hopes the experience it gains during the season pays off in the end.
"If other teams lost what we did then we'll be competitive with them," assistant coach Kirby Schinbeck said. "The biggest [issue] is if we get outmatched. We've got some big kids, but they haven't been tested. They've had some success at the junior varsity level, but not yet at varsity."
Enterprise started last season 3-0 before losing six consecutive games to end the season under second-year coach Malin Williams. The Wolves managed only 47 points in those losses, an average of less than eight points per game. Meanwhile, opponents racked up 227 points on the Enterprise defense.
That hopefully will change this season.
"We're really young but very focused," Schinbeck said. "Their grasp of the offense this year is greater than last year."
Schinbeck noted last year was Enterprise's first running the wing-T offense instead of the spread. The adjustment took some time.
However, expectations are high this year, with returnees Dustin Tullis and Kanton Vause running the ball and Brandell Shumway at quarterback. Tullis ran for 242 yards last season, while Shumway was one of six players to attempt a pass. Dallin Holt will be the primary receiving target at tight end. Shumway, a sophomore, started last season's game against San Juan.
"Dustin brings a lot of speed and versatility," Schinbeck said. "You can put him anywhere. Dallin works hard and is a two-way starter."
Enterprise will run an over-under defense, designed to give opposing offenses different looks and make it more difficult to prepare for. Jesse Williams and David Koller are top linebackers with Holt at defensive end.
Closing out games is a primary focus for the Wolves.
"There were a few games we should have had," Schinbeck said. "We gave it away in the fourth quarter. We just let down and other teams got the breaks. That's one of our areas of interest no more letdowns in the fourth quarter."
The Wolves open the season Aug. 23 at Diamond Ranch.
ASSIGNMENT • Class 2A South
LAST YEAR • 3-6 overall, 1-6 Class 2A South
KEY RETURNER • Dustin Tullis, RB. His versatility allows him to play wherever needed. Also provides leadership for the team's younger players.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Jesse Williams, LB. Hits hard and plays hard the kind of player coaches love to have.
BIGGEST HOLE • Inexperience. With relatively few returning starters, the team will experience some growing pains that could become positives by season's end.
NEED TO KNOW • Despite their inexperience, the Wolves will focus and try hard, putting forth the effort every game.