Eugene, OR -- Over the last three years, the Willamette Wolverines have won a combined five games. But with this season being their second year in the 5A classification, they say they're prepared for what's ahead.
It goes without saying the wolverines first season in 5a didn't go as planned. They finished a disappointing 2-7, in what they thought would be a good season after moving down from 6A.
"I feel like we went into games thinking oh we're going to destroy them, offensive lineman Tyler Hensley said. “You know we don't need to try and play that hard and then went out there and they kicked our butt from the first play."
Being one of the younger teams in the league also turned out to be a blessing and a curse. Dozens of players still trying to find their footing among the rank, but when they get there, they'll be ready.
"I like to tell people, last year we were very young, this year we're going to be young,” head coach Josh Wolfram said. “You know when our two leading tacklers on the team were freshman, so they're coming back for their sophomore year. And hopefully with a more experienced offensive line unit our offense will be a little more productive as well."
Losing a number of games by more than 20 points last season, the Wolverines are learning to keep playing, even when the scoreboard didn't reflect their hard work on the field.
"Our message this summer has been, being mentally tough Wolfram said. “And our definition of being mentally tough is you got to be able to perform at a high level in adverse situations."
They said like you know, if we're going to play and we're going to win games we got to do it together," running back Bryce Indell said. "We got to be able to come over, you know? If we're down by two touchdowns we got to come back score, win the game."
The Wolverines will have to wait until September 6th to get their second chance in 5A action, as they head to take on the 4A Cascade Cougars for a jamboree on August 30th.