It wasn't how coach Scott Henderson wanted the season to end.
Losing at home to Fremont in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs was a disappointment for the Hunter Wolverines, but it also served as the inspiration to start working toward a state title.
"They came back with some unfinished attitude, and you can see it on the field," Henderson said.
Coach-talk aside, Henderson is taking every practice, snap and game one at a time.
"We're not looking too far ahead," he said. "It's about staying healthy and taking care of business. We're students of the game focusing on grades in the classroom."
Henderson, who is conditioning his players to remain focused on the work at hand, is excited about the turnout. Hunter, which returns 11 varsity players, will remain with the I-formation on offense.
Tackles Tevita Tauteoli and Sione Lapuaho have a lot resting on their broad shoulders. Tauteoli and Lapuaho, who will be counted on to anchor the line on both sides of the ball, have been hitting the gym and focusing on footwork.
It is undetermined who will play quarterback for the Wolverines, but Henderson plans on running hard down the middle.
"We're going to get a fast game going, running the ball and taking hits," Henderson said.
Henderson said that the only game circled on his calendar is Layton on Aug. 23.
"We're more athletic, physical and ready to get on the field and play," he said. "We're excited to finally get out there."
ASSIGNMENT • Region 2
LAST YEAR • 7-3 overall, 5-0 Region 2
KEY RETURNER • Tevita Tauteoli is a 6-foot-4 215-pound tackle with great football IQ and explosive strength.
PLAYER TO WATCH • The offensive line. According to coach Henderson, the hulking players average 25 -pounds and have the strength to move almost any team.
BIGGEST HOLE • Even with the 11 returning varsity players, youth is a problem. Player assignments still are being determined, including the quarterback position.
NEED TO KNOW • Losing to Fremont 14-6 in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs is inspiration for Hunter. Expect the Wolverines to work quickly at the line, control the tempo with the run and dominate on the defensive side of the ball.