The West Valley Wolfpack prepare for the season at UAF

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Yesterday we started our training camp series for the high school football teams here in the Interior.
Our next team on the list is the West Valley Wolfpack who are ready to take on the Railbelt Conference.

The West Valley Wolfpack are preparing for the 20-18 season, holding their training camp at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
This season is going to look different for the Wolfpack, as they were dropped down to Division II alongside the Lathrop Malemutes.
With that they are facing the Palmer Moose and the North Pole Patriots this season with only two of them making the post season.
And for the Wolfpack's defensive coordinator, these games will bring the Interior together.

Coach Conwell:"I like playing Interior teams, it's a good competition material wise. So I think we have more Interior games not only does that bring in North Pole and Fairbanks community together but it brings in the Eielson community together as well it makes the games a lot more exciting."

This West Valley squad is a hodgepodge of young talent with senior leadership.
The Wolfpack's defense will be looked upon the keep the games close, as the offense lost some key players to graduation.
And their defense will definitely be needed in their home matches against the Service Cougars and the Chugiak Mustangs.
West Valley will also playing in the DII Railbelt Conference, playing Palmer, Lathrop, and North Pole to decide who heads off to the playoffs.
But they are ready for the challenge.

Joseph Kimbrough:"It means a lot that we're playing North Pole again and Lathrop you know the Dog Bowl is a big game in the season, but I think we can beat them. And going through the season I think we'll get better and better and finally face them in the last 2 weeks and be a pretty good game."

This is the last rodeo for some of these players, who have been part of the Wolfpack program for four years.
One in particular, Merrick Stacy, has been through the ups and downs as part of the West Valley Wolfpack.
And for him, it's about seeing the younger guys on the field grow.

Merrick Stacy:"It's crazy, being one of the seniors it's fun watching all the younger guys come up thinking back when you were a freshman, and now I get to watch them come up. And they get to try and bring them together as a team. You know, try to gel all together before the season. It's crazy, it went by so fast, I think back to my freshman year, I remember like it was yesterday. And now I'm already out there with one more shot this is it, we've got one more chance to try and got out there and win every game or win most games and have fun. That's what it's all about having fun."

The West Valley Wolfpack open home schedule against the Service Cougars on Friday August 10, at 7PM
This is Aaron Walling reporting.