Magna Vista's football team carries heavy expectations from their fans, and it's in part because of the level of play they've become accustomed to seeing over the years.

The Warriors won just one game in "The Hole" last season, finishing the year 1-5 at home and 5-6 overall. Head Coach Joe Favero has a number of players back from last season, one of the youngest groups he's ever had in his tenure in Ridgeway.

It was a difficult season, but the lessons have been learned and there's been plenty of energy in the room to try and not have that happen again.

"We've got a lot of guys back from last year, so they kind of went through it," Favero said at the 7-on-7 Summer Passing League at Smith River Sports Complex Tuesday. "It was kind of a tough time for us. It was one of those rebuilding years, but I think we learned a lot from it and I think we've been very motivated this offseason."

As young as the team was last year, the Warriors still lost a crop of senior leaders all over the field. Favero always finds ways to replace players on the field, but it's the lost leadership that is more difficult to replace in the summer months.

"You get your seniors, they're kind of used to being leaders and now it's a new group of seniors and they have to learn how to lead," Favero said.

Magna Vista, as well as Smith River rival Basset, attends every session of the 7-on-7 Summer Passing League at the complex, and they also travel to other team camps. Any way Favero can get the team together, he's all for it.

"I think it's great for us to come out and run routes and develop team chemistry because you get the guys together," he said. "Any time you can get your team together and get them to compete against somebody else, or get them to be around each other I think is a good situation for us."

But as important as on-field activities are in the offseason, it's what happens off the field that may be even more important before the padded practices begin. For Favero and the Warriors, they are putting a lot of time in the weight room.

"We spend a lot of time in the weight room, more so doing that than anything else trying to make sure we're getting to the strongest point we can be here in the offseason," he said.

Chris Doherty is a Sports Reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. Contact him 276-638-8801 ext. 215. Follow on Twitter @BulletinSport

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