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Deer Valley football coach Robert Hubbard saw a lot of progress with his team in 2017.

For the second year in a row, the players earned a team GPA above 3.0. On the field, they competed tough against what was an exceptionally strong Bay Valley Athletic League.

Unfortunately, for the third year in a row, the Wolverines completed their league slate without a win.

While Hubbard expects the same tough competition from the league, he also hopes to see some of those narrow defeats turned into victories.

“I expect the league to be really, really good; I think it’s the best league in Northern California,” Hubbard said. “The league is tough. But we’ve been competing every year and getting better and better. We’ve just got to finish better and some of those close losses become wins.”

Deer Valley’s 2018 squad is young, but the Wolverines are buoyed on the field by a trio of senior three-year starters.

King Matu holds things down on both the offensive and defensive lines. Behind him will be running back Patrick Robinson and quarterback Joshua Scott.

Scott has started on defense at cornerback since his sophomore year and became the starting quarterback midway through his junior season.

Matu will be joined up front by fellow senior Tobe Vixon, as well as juniors Jacob Caguyong and Kobe Decuir.

Hubbard also expects big things in 2018 from Jordan Pringle, a junior linebacker and tight end.

One thing that all teams are dealing with is an earlier beginning to the season. The year kicks off Aug. 17.

While Hubbard has seen some drawbacks in that – namely with the overall numbers of the program – he’s seen some benefits as well.

“I’m excited; I love football,” he said. “So the sooner the better, in my eyes. There are some dynamics with school. But at the same time, you get the cream of the crop – the kids who really want to be there. So, to be honest, it’s just exciting that the football is starting earlier. So far it hasn’t been too bad.”