CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Even with an injury-riddled roster, Charlottesville Coach Eric Sherry is the first to take the blame for last year's 1-9 record.
"The lesson was I wasn't a very good coach last year," Sherry said, "Kids faced a lot of obstacles, dealing with some things last year that were kind of a part of the game of football and it was our year to deal with them."
But players took lessons from last year to heart becoming a more disciplined team over the offseason.
"We really built as a team and from here we managed to get numbers up in the weight room, participation is high and pride and family is really big for us too," senior linebacker Marcus Targonski said.
"We just wanted to make sure that people are here that want to be here," junior defensive tackle Jaleon Adams-Mallory said.
"More people are coming to practice, we don't have that many people missing practice, that's a good thing right there," senior running back Isaiah Washington said, "That should show that we want to win some games."
It took the Black Knights till the final week to win a game last season, now the focus is on winning week one something no Charlottesville team has done since 2002.
"For right now we're just focusing on EC Glass," Washington said, "We're not worried about no one else right now. The first game is what we're worried about and then we'll move forward from that."
Noticeably missing this year is first team All-Jefferson District running back Sabias Folley, leaving a big hole in the Black Knights run game.
"You can't replace Sabias, but what you can do is lean on your brother and really work together to help fill some of these gaps," Targonski said, "There's no lie, you don't come back from a loss like that."
After a busy offseason, Charlottesville comes in with something to prove, something Coach Sherry says the Black Knights are used to by now.
"I think most of my kids feel the underdog chip on their shoulder anyway to be honest," Sherry said, "I think they take that naturally, I think they're a very confident group, but I think they enjoy the challenge of going and proving people wrong."
"I don't like being the underdog, but we do what we got to do," Adams-Mallory said, "They might be sleeping on us, but we're going to be coming."