After a disappointing 1-9 record in 2011, the sun has risen on the next chapter of football at Preston High School, one orchestrated by new Head Coach Jonathan Tennant.
"Everything is new at Preston High School," said Coach Tennant. "We have a new coaching staff, new offensive philosophy, new defensive philosophy, and everyone has a new attitude."
As coach said, the word is ‘new' at Preston High, and it's the Knights' third different head coach in three years.
"You just have to ignore what was in the past years. You have to pay special attention because you'll do something that you did last year. You'll get yelled at but then you'll fix it correctly," said senior Offensive Linemen Zach Kerere.
A rebuilt Knights team means establishing a new identity, and coaches said one is already taking shape.
"One of the coaches said the other day, we're way stronger then we were last year. We have more speed than we've ever had since I've been here," said Coach Tennant. "The toughest challenge we have now happens to be mentally prepared and have the confidence to go forward and compete."
12Sports caught up with Preston in the first week of drills. With pads soon being introduced to practice, players know the team will truly define itself when full contact drills begin.
"You find out who can't take it, because when you get pads on it's twice as hot," said senior Fullback and Linebacker Nico Rossetti. "People get hurt, and you just find out who's tough and who's not. "
After beating Hampshire High School to start the season in 2011, the Knights struggled, losing nine straight to end the year. This year's schedule may feel like ‘déjà vu,' featuring most of the same times, but Preston High is focused on 2012, and the next chapter in Knights football.
"What we concentrate on is doing the best that we can," said Coach Tennant. "We can't worry about what other programs are doing, we worry about getting batter fundamentally, we worry about getting stronger ."
The Knights open up play this season at home against the Hampshire Trojans.