SILVER SPRING, Md. (WDVM) – Wheaton high school football head coach Mark Saunders says the number of players in his program are down this season, but that’s not getting the team down.
“Wheaton is now becoming- will become a powerhouse,” Saunders said. “ou know we got the set back of the year of not playing, but I think you know we keep working hard and we get the kids out here, that everything in this program will change. You know it takes the kids to change it, not the coaches, the culture has to change, the kids gotta understand where we’re going with the program.”
The Knights, who made it to the playoffs despite winning just three games in 2019, are looking to take the next step in building their program.
“I like the team, I like how we are handling ourselves right now,” Wheaton junior quarterback and safety Miguel Duran-Diaz said. “Even though our team is like a little smaller this year, but it’s still gonna work out. We’re still going to try to put everything, every piece and try to use every weapon that we can.”
Saunders tells WDVM that he believes numbers will rise between varsity and junior varsity once the school year begins.
“I’m staying positive because I see a difference from last season to this season,” Wheaton senior wide receiver and safety Arturo Delgado said. “Like the practices, everything is different. Because like last season we had like a lot of restrictions, some guys couldn’t come out and now we’ve got more guys out here, less restrictions, longer practices.”
Wheaton will open its season at Sherwood on Friday, September 3. Sherwood was one of the most impressive teams in the Spring’s condensed season, but the Knights are up for the challenge.
“We’re not the biggest. And you know we’re not the fastest,” Wheaton junior offensive and defensive lineman Juan Portillo said. “But you know there’s one thing our coach always told us is we have heart. You look at Sherwood, you look at the big time schools, they have speed, they have talent, they have everything. We have talent here.”