Warriors ramp up training where 2013 season ends

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Coach Cody Lee knew at the beginning of the season that this was going to be a building year for the Warriors football team. But no one anticipated the Warriors would have their worst season on record in recent history.

For this reason and others, Lee and his staff ramped up training literally as soon as the season was over.

"We gave them two days off before we hit it," Lee said. "They have always gotten three to four weeks in the past."

Lee said the team has started back with maxes, weight training and planning meetings. They are encouraged to go out for other sports to keep them in shape, in addition to their ongoing team training.

Outgoing senior Zeb Esquivel, No. 7, who played quarterback, running back and linebacker positions for the team, is proud of his high school football career and supportive of his team, even as he looks toward graduation.

"This is the first time (in my career) that we didn't make the playoffs," Esquivel said. "Good luck to them next year; I hope they do good."

Joe Armijo, a junior, said it was his first year playing, and that he was encouraged to go out for football by Lee. He said that the coach has a lot of good ideas, and predicts next year will be a good year.

Ethan Smith, No. 17, linebacker and also an outgoing senior, said he felt the season ended "alright," even though it was a tough year.

"Toward the end, we were playing better as a team," freshman Michael Armijo said. He felt the team started off not being comfortable with their roles.

Michael Armijo led the team in total yards, with 700 rushing yards and 18 receiving. Junior Tyler Crespin was next in line with 671 total yards — 282 rushing and 389 passing.

Several teammates agree that the coaches' message is "team first," and are proud that their team stuck together through a tough year.

"It was rough, but we held together as a family," linebacker Will Brannan said. "That's all that matters."

The coaching team has developed a new point system to encourage the boys to be ready for next season. The system includes specific points for each workout, but the boys also get points for each A on their report card and for participating in other high school sports. The points system will work on a monthly average, and will be in effect from now until next August, when regular team practice starts again.

"We are already ahead of the game with training," Lee said. "Last year we had six kids in weight training; this year we have 33."

There are 10 team members going into their fourth year with the team this coming year. The coach says they are already leaders. He says the team is ready to work hard to get back into the playoffs in the 2014 season.