Above, interviews with quarterback William Robinson and linebacker Ismael Pugh.Marina
A cloud of dust kicked up each time Marina ran a play. Get used to it. Until the promised upgrades come in October to the facility, dodging gopher holes might be harder than tacklers.
Yet, as Mariner quarterback William Robinson put it, this just makes us stronger, hungrier and more determined to erase the past.
There is something different about the Mariners this year. Players aren't trying on equipment for the first time. Nor is head coach Vernon Calhoun forced to teach the basics.
An off-season conditioning program was evident in watching Marina go through practice. Now it's about learning how to finish.
Owners of a 26-game losing streak, Marina held the lead in two games last year, yet failed to pull out its first win.
That has not been lost among the returning players, some of whom have been with the program since its inception.
It's still an uphill battle for the Mariners. But the win is coming. Instead of hope, players believe. So do I.
Watch an interview with the coach.