Albany, Ore. -- KEZI 9 Sports remains up in Benton County for this edition of 'Blitzing the Preseason' presented by Bi-Mart. The South Albany Redhawks finished 6-5 last season but were Willamette League champions and 5A quarterfinalists. But it only whet their appetite for this season.
"Our motto right now is to stay hungry, not to be satisfied with what we did last year and so really put on to it, and get better and do better than what we did last year," says senior quarterback Eli Nafziger.
Stay hungry: a simple but effective motto. And part of South Albany football's culture that starts with its' kids.
"Every year we have our seniors pick a theme for the football season and we have a team meeting on Sundays before we start doubles and we came in and we introduced the seniors and they came up with that theme of stay hungry," explains head coach David Younger. "And it's all about building off what we built last year."
Like plenty of other teams in 5A, the Redhawks bring back a veteran line following a Willamette league title in 2017.
"We did pretty good last year and we got some of our returners a lot of the seniors left last year but this year we got some good size and good pushing strength," says Kyle Miller, senior lineman at South Albany. "We're gonna be pretty big up front both with our D-line and our O-line so we're really excited with where we're at with them," Younger adds. ""We've got a little more offense in with them because they're all returning starters for us."
And when it all starts up front, it's easy to feel good ahead of the season.
"We feel really confident in being able to go head to head and maybe match strength on strength with other teams," says Younger.
With 5A's reconfiguration, it means the return of the Redhawks favorite old rival: West Albany.
"I'm really excited," Nafziger says. "I mean, we've been waiting for this for a long time and it's finally gonna happen especially our senior year it'll be really special."
"It'll be a good time the crowd is gonna be huge I'm sure," continues Coach Younger. "It's gonna be an exciting game, September 21st, and I know our community has some great things planned for that Friday night."
So staying hungry is the key, and it seems the South Albany Redhawks have quite the appetite.