WYOMING, Mich. — It hasn't been an easy go for the returning players in the Wyoming football program over the past few seasons.
"It's been a learning experience," said senior tight end and linebacker, Isaiah Clark, "but we really know what we want and every year when it doesn't go the way you want, you get more of a drive to do better the next year."
New head coach Carlton Brewster comes to Wyoming after three seasons at Kalamazoo Central and prior stops at Wyoming Lee and Godwin Heights.
He's lived in the Wyoming school district for ten years and has been monitoring the program.
"I've been in this community, I know these kids and they're blue collar and hard working," Brewster said.
Those returning players are looking to put the past struggles and losses behind them and they're confident that Brewster is the coach to lead them.
"Previously it was, oh we were Wyoming, we're going to lose but now it's new mindset, new mentality," said senior lineman, Amani Hopson.
In day one of practice, Brewster's passion and energy was on display in his coaching style.
"He has a really big passion for the game," said senior cornerback, Josiah Anderson, "I feel like he's brought that passion to Wyoming and he's also brought a lot of discipline. I think we respect him as a coach."
He has also brought an underdog mentality to the Wolves which is needed in the tough OK Green with the likes of Muskegon, Mona Shores, Zeeland East and Zeeland West.
"We expect that some teams will say, 'eh this is Wyoming,'" Brewster added on their mentality, "I was an underdog as a player and as an assistant coach. One thing about the underdog is sometimes the big dog underestimates you."
That menality is nothing new to some of the returning players.
"We've always been the underdog in athletics, so I guess it just is what it is, you just take it and work with it," said Mateo Ledesma, a senior runningback and safety.
Senior tight end and linebacker Isaiah Clark says it's his honesty as a coach that stands out most.
"I personally love how honest he is with us because I know that when you get out of high school nothing will be handed to you, there will be loses and you need to know how to handle it."
Now, expectations are on the rise within the program.
"Playoffs," Clark said when asked on expectations, "he says it every day at five o'clock in the morning, playoffs, that's our goal."
The Wolves will open the season on August 26 against Forest Hills Northern.