PLEASANT VIEW -- First-year Weber High coach Rick Corbridge finds himself with an unenviable task -- improve on the Warriors' best record in a decade.
The good news is there is room for improvement, but not much.
The Warriors finished the 2009 season with their first-ever winning record in Region 1 at 5-3, and their 7-4 record was their best overall mark since going 11-2 in 1999, the year they won the state 4-A championship.
"Our goal this year is go finish in the top three (in Region 1) and make the playoffs," Corbridge said. "Our region is always tough and we have a definite uphill battle by playing the top three teams (Viewmont, Davis, and Fremont) in our region to start. We hope that we can continue the momentum and improve. Our kids are ready to build on what they accomplished last year, and they are coming into this season with a real good attitude."
For the Warriors to improve, they will have to rely on team speed in athleticism to make up for a lack of depth in size.
"Size is going to be a real concern for us. We're big enough to compete and reach the goals we've set, but we don't have a lot of size," Corbridge said.
What little size Weber has is still pretty impressive, led by senior offensive linemen Craig Potter, Ben Oliver, Tyson Chambers and Christian Baldenegro. The senior quartet will be asked to provide protection for quarterback Jantz Arbon, who will lead a balanced attack.
"We'll try to be as balanced as we can, but a lot of that is going to depend on how things go. I really like that our linemen are pretty quick," Corbridge said.
When Arbon isn't going to the air to receivers Cory Hart and Braxton Defriez, Preston Healey and Christian Thomas will get the bulk of the rushing duties. Their experience is exactly what Weber needs. "We've got some pretty decent speed at tailbacks and receivers, and that will be a big plus for us."
Defensively, the Warriors will rely on the experience of senior linebacker Eric Griffin and a host of players that will go both ways, including Potter, Hart, Thomas, Chambers and Defriez. Hart and Defriez will anchor the secondary while Potter, Hart, Thomas and Chambers will man the line.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing what these kids can do. Their attitude is right and they are hard workers. They are a bunch of well-rounded kids and they have rallied around each other. I think we have a real good chance of accomplishing our goals," said Corbridge.
Coach: 2009 in review: Returning starters: Players to watch:
Coach:Rick Corbridge (first year)
2009 in review:5-3 Region 1; 7-4 overall, lost to Hunter 24-20 in the first round of state 5-A playoffs
Returning starters:7 (3 offense, 4 defense)
Players to watch:Jantz Arbon, senior, quarterback; Craig Potter, senior, lineman; Cory Hart, senior, safety/wide receiver; Preston Healey, senior, tailback; Eric Griffin, senior, linebacker; Christian Thomas, senior, fullback/defensive lineman; Braxton Defriez, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Ben Oliver, senior, lineman; Christian Baldenegro, senior, lineman.
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