MERIDIAN -- After finishing 4-6 last year and exiting the playoffs with a first round loss, the Warriors are optimistic for a deeper run this fall, a run that centers around a veteran team, highlighted by returning starting quarterback Nate Weddle.

"Nate's a special kid that doesn't come around very often," said Meridian head coach Porter Lacey.

"He's a very accurate quarterback and he knows how to lead a team," said senior wide receiver Cordell Crawford.

The Warriors receive a boost in the backfield with the return of tailback Semaje Woodall, who was limited to just four games last year due to injury.

"He wasn't back to full speed until spring," Lacey said. "He had an ACL injury, so it was a big loss for us."

"Semaje is a really big weapon to our offense," Crawford added.

"He's a big guy that we can rely on to get that tough yardage, goal line situations," Weddle said. "We hope he can get into the endzone."

Defensively, the Warriors are solid, returning a bevy of starters especially up front this fall.

"Reese Crabtree and Joey Lyman, two defensive ends that I believe were probably tops in the conference last year," Lacey. said

"I think this defense has the best bond we've had in the years that I've been here," Crawford said.

And that bond isn't limited to the defense only, as the Warriors say their special ingredient this fall comes with the group's cohesive bond.

"We probably have the best bond I've ever had," Crawford said. "A lot of us played together from freshman year until now, everyone's family, everyone works together."

"We feel really good about this season," Weddle said. "We have a really good senior class, ready to make a run, ready to have a really good season and maybe make a run in the playoffs."

2017 Schedule

8/25 - vs. Centennial

9/1 - at Skyview

9/8 - vs. Rocky Mountain

9/15 - vs. Eagle

9/22 - at Nampa

9/29 - vs. Boise

10/6 - at Mountain View

10/13 - at Capital

10/20 - vs. Columbia