Originally published Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 06:00a.m.

KINGMAN – It’s not often a coach can step aside and answer a few questions during the rigors of a practice in the triple digits.

But Kingman High School football coach Cam Wierson took a moment to do so Tuesday afternoon and that had a lot to do with the trust in his upperclassmen.

“We have good internal leadership amongst the kids – we have kids telling kids what to do,” Wierson sad. “We’re finally there. That’s when you start winning ball games and start being more competitive when it’s not just me out here holding kids to a standard. You have six or seven kids on our roster holding the whole program to a standard.”

The Bulldogs’ comradery is a great sign as time is winding down until the home opener against Pinon at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17.

While many coaches would say their team will be prepared for that first contest, Wierson was a straight shooter.

“Anyone who sits there and tells you they’re ready to go in game one, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” Wierson said. “Pinon isn’t over there ready to play the Green Bay Packers either.”

The Bulldogs aren’t going to let that be an excuse though.

Wierson still expects his squad to give 100 percent effort in practice and let that do all the talking once the season opener arrives.

“You do it as best as you can,” Wierson said. “That’s all we’re asking these kids to do – get ready every day as best you can, ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ is what we say out here. That’s all you can do.”

Kingman is entering its third season with Wierson at the helm and the Bulldogs are looking to improve on a 2-8 overall mark last season.

Only time will tell how 2018 goes, but the squad is sticking to a simple motto.

“You do your best every day and whatever the scoreboard says is what it is,” Wierson said. “The same thing in the business world. Did you land that contract with that big company? Yes or no? If the answer is no, you have to ask yourself – ‘Did I go as hard as I could?’ That’s all we’re doing.”

And to help in accomplishing that goal, Kingman has found a few diamonds in the rough.

“There are some new kids that have come out here and they’ve proved that they are ready to stick with it,” Wierson said.

It’s no secret that Kingman’s numbers may not be as large as other schools, but the focus is on making sure the best 11 Bulldogs are out on the field.

“You look at our banners and it says ‘Pursue Greatness’ – we’re trying to be the best,” Wierson said. “We’re not trying to being nice and have 50 kids out here. We want to be the best. So the kids that are getting it done out here are going to go be good husbands. They’re going to go be good men in the world because they’re battle-tested.”