Sawyer saw some positive things in his team's lone scrimmage, a workout against Class AA playoff hopeful Clay County last Saturday.
"I thought we played with them pretty good,'' Sawyer said. "We're awful young, but we held our own with them, and that was a little shocking to me because Clay is supposed to be strong.
"I saw a lot of stuff we need to work on, but as young as we are and with people in new positions, we did OK. I was pleased with our effort. Our new quarterback did OK, too. Everything is one step at a time, and trying to get better every day.''
Sawyer said the scrimmage didn't show him any true surprises either way, good or bad.
"It went about what we expected,'' he said. "Our defense was maybe better than we thought it might be - the kids were flying around a little bit. We're working on tackling a little bit more than normal. We don't have a junior varsity, and we've got a lot of kids playing varsity for the first time, so with that in mind, I thought it went pretty good.''
Again, Sawyer has to temper his hopes with the knowledge that the majority of his players are neophytes.
"You go into every season expecting a lot,'' he said, "but you try not to look ahead. We want to try and teach these kids a good work ethic. They're doing what we ask of them.
"We hope we can get some wins while we get some experience. No doubt we'll be better by the end of the year.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.