#16Camps | Warriors lean on grit and grind culture
CROZET, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Even with the sun beating down there is no let up from Western Albemarle, a key part of the culture head coach Ed Redmond has built over the years.
"I think it's the work we put in here at practice," senior linebacker/offensive lineman Ross Bassett said, "We preach giving 100 percent, no matter what even how tired you are and if we keep that through in practice, you practice how you play."
"The number one thing we preach here is effort and try and if you try and if you put it out there, if you're coachable then we could do good things," Redmond said.
The Warriors will lean on those values this fall with a large senior class gone from last year's team who finished with a share of the Jefferson District title, as they turn to the next man up.
"You replace it by culture, building your culture, our culture has been in place now for several years," Redmond said, "We feel really good about what we've got coming and that's just having a program, having a culture where you learn from those that come before you."
"We're just filling spots and just like coach has preached for years you just got to fill in right after," senior fullback/defensive tackle Kyle Keyton said, "So we knew it was coming so I think we're prepared and ready."
The last time Western reached the 10-win mark before last season was in 2015 built around a high-scoring offense, but now the Warriors hang their hat on a defense which only allowed more than 20 points three times.
"The more you talk about it and the more you believe in it," Redmond said, "I think it hits home and kids all of a sudden start seeing that 8-0, 13-0 that's football."
"Think it's just the mindset that coach instills in practice that gritty and toughness," Bassett said, "I think when we made that switch we had to put in that tough mindset, so I think that just carried us through that game plan."
Western returns quarterback Nathan Simon to lead a rejuvenated offense, but are ready to continue grinding out wins after a 3-0 mark in one possession games.
"It all comes down to the mentality, the grind," Keyton said, "You got to keep going through it and you got to toughen it out and who lasts the longest."