Despite having to face two of the highest ranking teams in the state, the Lobos are not a daunted group of players. They finished the last season with 7 and 4. Though they faced their foes and lost, they took home pride for an overall well-played run.
“Last year’s group over-achieved and played above expectations and played those teams, that are top in the state, well,” said head coach Larry Berg.
Despite losing four seniors this season, Berg remains optimistic about the next few months. He also realizes that the Lobos’ league is one of the toughest as Lummi is ranked number one and Leah Bay is ranked number two.
“It definitely makes it difficult,” he said.
What will be easy is to continue teaching players to be better people. Over the last three years Berg has led football players to not only win games, but to learn to be better people. It’s a motto that Berg uses as his barometer for his own coaching skills.
“If the boys are not better men at the end of the season then I’ve done a poor job and shouldn’t be teaching,” said Berg. “They should be good people in all aspects from the classroom to sportsmanship.”
Berg must be doing something right because the Lobos won the John Trotto Best Sportmanship Award for all the entire Northwest last season.
Representatives from the Football Officials Association look at the attitude and respect shown toward game officials and opponents as the determining factor to assigning the award.
“They are good citizens,” said Berg about his team. “They are going through a learning process and growing up and taking responsibility.”
While on the field, Berg said the team may have some harder work cut out for them.
With a smaller team of 13, the players will have to make some interesting adjustments with their offensive line to make up with for what they lack.
“We will have to spread ourselves out big with a lot of splits and runs and we will have to throw a lot,” he said.
The team’s biggest strength this year will be speed and teamwork. Berg describes the players as “a lot faster and they will have to come together. They will have to play as a unit to do well and they will have to depend on each other.”
One way the team has to come together is that with small numbers they all must learn every position. If one player is not understanding the moves, another player will have to step in and teach that person.
“We are only as strong as the weakest link and now we are just firming up the chain,” he said.