Head football coach Richard Woods, entering his second year at Deer Valley, is pleased with the hard work and long hours his team has invested in preparation for this upcoming season. The team has its sights set squarely on its week-one opponent, Berkeley.
"We've been working hard to prepare for this season, over the summer and in camp. But everybody else has been working hard too," Woods said. "The first game's going to be the real test for us. It's going to let us know what kind of maturity we've got and where we're at."
Deer Valley is coming off a 4-6 season, and is looking to climb to the top of the BVAL, thanks, in large part, to an experienced group of returning seniors.
"We have a big senior group and a lot of senior leadership. We have 32 seniors back this year and they've made a commitment to this team," Woods said. "They know we have a lot banking on this season and they're looking forward to going out and having a good season."
They include quarterback Adam Masters, wide receivers Josh Pica and Daniel Ciccarello, and team captains and two-way standouts Telvis Jones, Obumneke Chuba and LJ (Lawrence) Jones.
Woods is also expecting great things from junior standouts Devin Le'Gall, Sonni Woods Jr., Kevin Hom and Daniel Morton.
The Wolverines promise to feature a potent, well-balanced attack. Coach Woods sees a great deal of talent and depth on the offensive side of the ball and refuses to tie his team's offensive success to either the rushing or passing game.
However, he's much quicker to pin down the strength of his defense - speed.
Although the team has performed well in practices and scrimmages, "They don't turn the scoreboard on 'till Friday," Woods said. "Our goal is to win the BVAL championship and compete in the section playoffs and compete well as representatives of our league. But in order to do that, we've got to be ready every week, starting with Berkeley the first week.
"Our goal is to compete right at the top for the championship, and that's why I'm here."
The Wolverines open their season tonight at home against Berkeley. Varsity kickoff is set for 7 p.m.