September 3, 2004
It’s not hard to be optimistic when your team enters a new season as the defending state champion.
Hamilton coach John Wrenn is one of those, particularly based on three weeks of practice and the team’s scrimmage last week with Red Mountain. He can also draw comfort from the presence of plenty of returning starters and some talented newcomers.
‘‘We’re happy with how our defense played,’’ Wrenn said of the team’s scrimmage. ‘‘We had some new guys in there, but they played like we thought they would. We’re excited.’’
Top-ranked Hamilton visits 2003 title-game foe and 10th-ranked Mountain View tonight in one of many interesting opening-night matchups in the 5A season. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Hamilton enters the season much like Mountain View did last season. The Huskies have a veteran and talented quarterback in Travis Dixon leading their offense and the confidence of having won a title. This will be the sixth time Hamilton and Mountain View have played since Hamilton started playing at the 5A level in 1999. Mountain View leads the series, 3-2.
‘‘This is always a special game,’’ Wrenn said. ‘‘With their tradition, you have to be excited about playing them. This year we come in knowing offensively what we can do and are capable of doing. We’re ahead of where we were this time last year on offense.’’
Mountain View breaks in an almost entirely new lineup for the rematch. Colton Malone and Tyler Mack competed for the starting quarterback spot and after last week’s scrimmage with Horizon, Toros coach Tom Joseph decided on Mack, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior. Mike Parra, the backup running back to Marc LeBaron last season and brother of 2002 standout Shane Parra, takes over as the Toros’ top back. Save one offensive lineman, Mountain View rolls out a whole new corps of starters.
‘‘It’s the same schools, but a lot of different kids and new kids,’’ Joseph said. ‘‘We know they’ll be good with the guys they have back.’’