UPPERGLADE, W.Va. — The Webster County football team recently began its 2021 training camp ahead of the new season. The Highlanders went 1-9 in the 2020 season, but won their final game of the season.

Pads were still left in the lockers during the early days of training camp.

The Highlanders boasted a good mix of returning talent and fresh newcomers to one of the most expansive rosters the team has seen in years. Regardless of year, the whole squad is learning a new offensive system, anchored by senior running back Connor Bell in the backfield.

Between the good taste left from ending the season on a good note and the new system that had players teeming with excitement while also biting their tongues in secrecy, Webster County’s coaching staff was looking at the possibilities this team could show this fall.

“There’s so much more excitement,” said assistant coach Jeff Bell. “There’s so much more stick-to-it-iveness. These kids are really gritty. Most of them have given up a lot of their summer to come here in the gym and positive gains. So, we’re really looking forward to where that takes us.”

Perhaps part of the new scheme being implemented, the bulk of the drills at Thursday’s practice were focused around agility and speed. Running and conditioning were involved in every rep, whether as the point of the drill or punishment for failure to complete it successfully. While the Highlanders struggled last season and face an uphill battle in 2021, coaches took the approach to make sure their team was as well-conditioned as possible.