LEXINGTON, Va. – The season of 2017 is one that VMI would like to erase from the history books. The school's team had an 0-11 campaign, despite hard effort from a young group of players, so heading into this season, the focus shifts to the process of winning.
"I think the focus is like Nick Saban says, is on the process," said head coach Scott Wachenheim.
"A lot of times, everybody thinks too much about the results and you get tense, you don't play your best. So, when you focus on, 'Hey I've got to be the best, the number one competition I have is with myself,' I think that relaxes you a little bit and allows you to perform at a higher level," Wachenheim said.
The Keydets return a core group of skilled players but, will still be relatively young after losing four top tacklers a season ago.
"I think if we can get it done and everybody just focus on what they can do instead of what everybody else can do, I think that'll be a big part of our success this year," said defensive lineman Ryan Clark.
VMI has more than a dozen players from our area and will rely on them as the team works to get back in the win column.
Hidden Valley product Mason Dermott is an All-Conference player who led the team in all-purpose yards with 948 as a special teams player.
"Whatever I can do to play, whatever I can do to get the ball -- returning kicks, playing slot, I played a little running back in the spring. So, whatever it is or whenever I can get the ball in my hands, you know, that's when I like to make things happen," said Dermott.
Meanwhile, former Patrick Henry Patriot Zach Baker will bring leadership and experience to help steer the ship in the right direction.
"We have to finish. We've come out and had good games and had ups, and we just have to be able to carry that on all the way to the end of games to get in the win column," Baker said.
VMI will open the season on the road at Toledo on Sept. 1, with the first home game slated for Sept. 15 against ETSU.