Training camp report: Stillwater
The Stillwater Warriors have a lot to look forward to in 2009. Instead of their unique and rustic old home field, the Warriors will play Friday night games under the lights on a brand-new FieldTurf surface.
After a disappointing 3-6 campaign in 2008 - head coach Vince Barber refused to give me 2008 statistics, saying they are only thinking about 2009 - the Warriors have reason to be optimistic. They have five starters returning on both sides of the ball and have drawn a few extra players out for the sport.
Tim Daigle, who played as a youngster, is back on the field after coaches and players urged him to join the team for his senior season.
"To be honest, ever since modified, Coach Barber and all of the Athletic Directors and Phys Ed teachers have been nagging me to come out and get out here," Daigle said. "I figured it was about that time."
Justin Deuel went from the struggles of the football field to starring on the basketball court for the Warriors last winter and while he admitted the football and basketball teams are two separate groups, he thinks some of that momentum can carry over to the gridiron.
"Everybody is more excited and wants to do well," Deuel said. "Once you have a brand-new field and it’s beautiful, you don’t want to go down in the gutters. You want to have a good season. Everyone is working hard and hopefully we’re going to do well."
"Any time you get new facilities is exciting, but I’ve been telling them we’re not playing for anything physical," said head coach Vince Barber. "We’re playing for pride. We got humiliated pretty good last year and it was probably the low point of the five years we’ve been here. We have a lot of pride and respect the game this year."