The Oakdale Warriors haven't experienced a winning season in six years. This season, they hope to remedy that.
"We've had a couple .500 seasons, you know 6-6, second round playoff losses. We lost last year first round and it left a bad taste in our mouths. We think we were better than that, but we didn't prove it," said head coach Randall Gordon. "That's what it's about, and hopefully this year we can prove it."
Oakdale has a lot of fresh faces this season, as the Warriors bring back just half of their starters from 2016. Despite the lack of starting experience, there's confidence in the air at Oakdale.
"We lost a few key guys, but we have a lot coming back," Gordon said. "We played a lot of players last year so we think we have a lot of experience."
"We've got a good bunch of young guys and we're ready for them to step up," said Oakdale wide receiver/safety Andrew Sao.
"They've been here through the spring," said defensive end Jonathon Johnson, "they've learned with us and they're gonna step up with us."
Offensively, Slate Jordan returns as quarterback and is expected to follow in the footsteps of his brother Mason, who lead Oakdale to 12 wins his final two years. The power back, Miliak Hayward is back, along with a trio of offensive lineman.
"We putting in extra work, were doing extra film," Johnson said. "Our chemistry as a team is getting better."
On the other side of the football, the Warriors replace every starting linebacker. The defensive line however, led by Jonathan Johnson, should be able to help the young defense come to form.
"We can't be doing our own thing," Johnson said. "We've got to learn how to be a unit. One team all together, one heartbeat."
With the switch to district 4-2A, the Warriors finally feel their talent can compete on any given Friday.
"They have some good teams and everybody's about the same. They have a couple teams that have some really good players and you have to stop, if you don't stop them they'll dominate our district," said Gordon. "But everybody really believes that they have a chance and we're one of them."
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