Drain, Ore. -- North Douglas high school is one of the many small schools in the Willamette Valley that is at the mercy of the size of its own school classes. If you have a lot of boys in a specific class, there's a better chance you'll field good numbers for a football team. If not, then you could end up like the Warriors, who had just 14 out on the field for the first day of practices. But that doesn't discourage anyone on the field at NDHS, nor will it stop their pursuit of a solid season in 1A.
"It's gonna be some small numbers for probably what we're used to but we got some good kids out here," says North Douglas head coach Jay Mast. "Depth will certainly be an issue the farther we go."
With a small group at North Douglas high school's first couple days of practice, it's all about conditioning to get ready for a long year. Which will be needed with a small but tight group of Warriors.
"I feel like it's gonna help us a little bit," says lineman Tanner Parks. "We have like 14 guys we're not gonna create separate groups against each other or anything."
And that chemistry will be learned following a slow end to a 5-3 2018 year, and a season in which depth will matter.
"We learned that we have to stay together," Parks mentions. "We kind of separated towards the end. It also didn't help with people getting thrown from games. They're ineligible for the next game and it almost effected us in a negative way."
"A lot of these kids realized they can do some things differently. Injuries certainly play a factor and did play a factor towards the end of the year," Mast continues.
So the Warriors will lean on the likes of running back Wyatt McDaniel and quarterback Tyler Kallinger for a big year.
"We got some young kids that are looking pretty good right now," concludes the North Douglas head coach. "We'll see when we put the pads on and line someone up against them. Which is coming fast, as is week one for North Douglas."