"We've got to score a lot more touchdowns this year than we did last year," senior quarterback Brandon Urquizo said.
That's a big goal for the Vernon Lions for the upcoming season. The team scored more than 20 points in only two games in 2011. Opponents outscored the Lions 232-111 overall.
With that goal in mind, new Vernon head coach Mark Bateman is turning back the clock, switching the team's offense back to what senior tight end Jacobi Clark calls the team's "bread and butter."
Vernon's bringing back the Wing-T.
"Last two years, we went to the spread, tried to throw the football a little bit more," Bateman said. "We just weren't real successful at it."
Bateman's no stranger to the Wing-T. He's been at Vernon for 10 years, including seven as the team's offensive coordinator.
He's seen what the Wing-T can do when it works.
Vernon made the playoffs eight times from 2000-08, advancing to two state quarterfinals and two state semifinals.
"We've always been a running team," he said.
Many members of the Lions grew up watching Vernon use the run-heavy misdirection offense.
"I'm super excited," senior lineman Seth Lee Matheson said.
The new "old" offense gives the Vernon seniors new energy entering their final season. Four-year varsity Lions have a 3-27 record under their belts. Prior to 2009, Vernon had only five losing seasons in 29 years.
They want to experience what they saw growing up.
"You grew up in Vernon, and they win," Urquizo said. "We're going to try and get back on track."
Bateman hopes to lead the way. Along with switching offenses, he's also made changes to the team's strength and conditioning program with the goal of finishing games strong.
His team has been sold since day one.
"Seeing me grow up, I know what he expects," White said. "He expects a lot of us."
"He knows what we can do," Matheson said. "That's why he pushes us to our limit."
Vernon opens the season on Friday, August 31st at home against Altus (Okla.).