CONCORD -- The 2012 season might best be described as a year to build for new coach Bryan Shaw and the Mt. Diablo High football team.
Shaw, who teaches history at the school, is doing double duty for the Red Devils this year as he assumes coaching and athletic director duties.
There's no question the road ahead will be tough. Mt. Diablo went 1-9 in 2011 under Jerry Reese, with a win over San Lorenzo the lone victory on the ledger.
But for Shaw, wins and losses in year one won't be the only indication of how far his program is coming.
"My primary goal on the field is to be able to compete every single game," Shaw said. "I just want us to compete and play hard for each other."
To help ensure continuity on a daily basis, Shaw has recruited other teachers to help him this year. The on-campus, hands-on approach will provide a constant presence for a Red Devils team looking to establish a new identity.
The main challenge continues to be how many players will Shaw have at his disposal. If numbers stay up throughout the season, the inroads established by Shaw over the summer will continue to grow.
"If we start 0-5, how will the kids respond? I don't know," Shaw said. "If you can build a strong foundation, it's not about the wins and losses."
On the field, Mt. Diablo's offense is changing to fit the personnel. Never lacking for athletic ability, the Red Devils turn to a faster-paced spread attack in an attempt to
And, there is talent to work with. Shaw is particularly high on senior Isaiah Barney, a running back who will also play quarterback. Barney will be joined in the backfield by junior Austin Hunt, who returns after playing quarterback for stretches last year.
The schedule sets up well for Mt. Diablo to build some momentum, with games against San Lorenzo and Fremont to kick things off.
If the Red Devils can get the ball rolling early, expect the improvement to continue throughout the season.
"These are the types of kids I love to work with," Shaw said. "We have some of the best athletes in the area."
8/31 at San Lorenzo 7 p.m.
9/7 FRE.-OAKLAND 7 p.m.
9/15 at Ber. Christian 1:30 p.m.
9/21 at Mt. Eden 3:45 p.m.
9/28 ANTIOCH 7 p.m.
10/5 at College Park (DVC)* 7 p.m.
10/12 NORTHGATE* 7 p.m.
10/19 YGNACIO VALLEY* 7 p.m.
11/26 CONCORD* 7 p.m.
11/2 at Clayton Valley* 7 p.m.