FARMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — There’s nothing wrong with a run to football’s state quarterfinals.

But Farmington felt it got pushed around by Tri-Valley in last fall’s third-round class 2A playoff game so the Farmers did something about it. They spent the summer in the school’s new weight room.

“We are definitely stronger,” said senior Sam Gronewold. “There’s been a lot of us putting time in the weight room. It’s really showed up in the first few days and now we’re hitting a lot harder than what we are used to.”

Farmington is already strong with numbers. Coach Toby Vallas has 87 players out for football this year and he says he returns four starters on each side of the football.

Veterans like quarterback Gage Renken, running back Rese Shymansky and receiver Logan Morse return as starters for a team looking for a seventh consecutive playoff appearance under Vallas. And the Farmers would like to learn from their final loss of 2021.

“Everyone is faster, stronger and they love the game. We are all-around better. Now everyone is better,” said senior center Virgil Haggard, a returning all-conference player. “We have the coaches pushing us at all times. It all kind of works out.”

Farmington opens the season at Aledo on Friday night.