Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
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Las Vegas Sun reporters Case Keefer and Ray Brewer discuss the upcoming high school football season. They will let you know whether or not anyone can dethrone defending state champion Bishop Gorman, release their state title sleepers teams and give a quick breakdown of the area's 30-plus schools.
An old football coaches saying indicates the best thing about freshmen are they become sophomores.
For Virgin Valley coach Kirk Hafen, he hopes the same is true of juniors turning into seniors. The Bulldogs struggled through a 3-7 season in 2009 relying heavily on their junior class.
They were inexperienced last year, but now have an entire year’s worth of games to draw upon.
“You can’t teach that kind of experience,” Hafen said. “It’s big and now, I’ve just got to get these kids to believe in this and we’ll have a good year.”
Hafen believes the Bulldogs simply need to make a few adjustments to get back to their reputation as perennial state championship contender in the 3A.
One of the key issues to be resolved is who will start at quarterback. Hafen has made it an open competition between two seniors, Daniel Gleave and Humberto Urias.
Lewis said Gleave and Urias have brought the best out of each other.
“I’d like to see competition at every spot if we could,” Hafen said. “But with small schools like us, sometimes you don’t have that depth.”
The offensive line, however, probably doesn’t need much competition. According to Hafen, it should be one of the team’s strengths this season.
“That’s a good bunch of kids,” Hafen said. “Those kids are going to be going both ways. They struggled a little last year, but they could be huge now.”
Virgin Valley opens with contests again two Utah schools, Kanab and Cedar City, that it lost to last season. The Bulldogs did appear to catch a break in the Las Vegas 4A teams it must face.
Hafen is enthusiastic about the promise of this season. Practices have noticeably improved in the early going.
“They’ve come a long way from this time last year,” Hafen said. “I can say that much.”