Wesley Hills and the rest of the Wildwood High School football team haven't lost their optimism.
The team hasn't won a game since 2008.
That hasn't stopped the Warriors from jumping head first into the upcoming season.
"We're pretty positive that we can have a winning season," Hills said without hesitation.
Hills said the team has no problem staying positive after a few tough seasons.
"You go to practice the next day and keep working hard to get ready for the next game," Hills said.
"We have 25 determined guys out there this year that will see the whole season through.
"It's going to be a good season. We have positive guys. We don't have anyone that has a bad attitude. We go out there and do what we have to do."
Hills is a junior.
He is the team's running back and plays defensive end.
"He's one of the most talented running backs in our league by far," said assistant coach Rich Hans in preseason information packets.
Hills is one of the team's best players on both sides of the ball.
"I just work hard to help my team out in any way possible," Hills said.
"I love to hit, so right after offense I get right back out there and get ready to hit somebody. They deliver the hits and I get out there and try to do the same thing."
Zak Barrett, Eddie Lopizzo and Sergio Jimenez are all four-year starters.
Barrett will play quarterback and free safety. Lopizzo will play center and middle linebacker and Jimenez will take the field at offensive guard and defensive tackle.
Unlike Barrett, Lopizzo and Jimenez, Hills has yet to win a game on the high school level.
He expects that to change this season.
The Warriors' last win came on Oct. 10, 2008, a 24-18 victory against Clayton.
Wildwood plays at Clayton on Sept. 17.
"Last year we weren't too good with run stopping," Hills said. "We have worked hard on that as well as our coverage.
"I'm really excited. I can't wait for the first game. Friday night under the lights - nothing beats it."
Contact John O'Kane:
PLAYOFF APPEARANCES: 0
LAST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE: Never
PLAYOFF RECORD: 0-0
LEAGUE/GROUP: West Jersey Football League Classic Division/South Jersey Group I
COACH: Jamie Peterson (0-10, one season)
2010 RECORD: 0-10
2011 PREDICTION: Rebuilding. If the Warriors can stay healthy they may be able to upset a few teams.
GAME TO WATCH: Sept. 17 at Clayton. Always a good game, Wildwood's last win came against Clayton during the 2008 season.