The sounds ingrained in the white and gray brick are immortal. The roars of thanks, of dedication paid off, of all the times they’d thought about walking off the field and never looking back.
For all the nights they took the lonely, all-too-familiar walk to the locker room to take off their helmets and pads and prepare to face a crowd filled with doctored smiles.
The streak » Warriors lost 23 consecutive games before Friday’s win at West
All-time record » 281-460-22
State titles » 2 (1999, 1985)
Their screams echoed, bouncing off the walls inside the visitors locker room at Gean Plaga Stadium, and they didn’t stop. They kept on.
They kept on because they won. The Weber Warriors won. They won for the first time since Sept. 17, 2010. It had been 23 games since their last victory, a 43-0 win over rival Roy nearly three years ago — two years, 11 months and seven days to be exact — but that was the past.
It is the past.
The Warriors, a team whose seniors playing their first game of the final year of their high school careers never had clapped mightily at the end of the game, who’d never gone on to celebrate a win with their family over burgers and shakes were undefeated.
"This will be a day I remember forever," senior Huston Wade said.
Weber’s 27-7 win over West in downtown Salt Lake City on Friday night snapped the longest losing streak in Utah. The Warriors, as first-year coach Matt Hammer requires, played fast, played hard and finished.
For the first time in nearly three years, the Warriors finished.
"It’s a long time coming," senior running back Auston Tesch said, "but we played how we wanted to play."
They played to win.
Where it started
Matt Hammer first met his team on Jan. 14. Hammer, a former offensive coordinator and assistant coach at Weber State University under Ron McBride and John L. Smith, looked into the prospect of getting off the road recruiting and spending more time at home with his wife and two young children.
He was a wide receiver and defensive back at Southern Utah University and played for Gary Andersen. That’s when he fell in love with coaching.
So when Hammer explored the possibility of joining the prep ranks, he started scanning schools in Weber County.
He asked a family friend about Weber. He’d kept tabs on the Pleasant View area through his recruiting, but he was trying to comprehend how the program that won the Class 4A title in 1999 had taken a long fall from grace.
The message was that the program needed someone who cares, a coach who will go above and beyond what’s needed to have players believe, to compete and perhaps win some football games.
"Coach installed a winning culture here," junior defensive back Nick Austin said. "He just got us all going and he got us committed, and that’s what’s made it all better. He’s a great man, and we play our hardest. The culture is all changed."
But it took some time.Next Page >
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