In his first season last year, Graham led the Broncos to a 3-7 record after Kirtland had just one win in the prior year.
This year, Kirtland will look to finish with a .500 record for the first time since 2008.
“Our goals are to go every play as hard as we can, no matter what the score is, and, above all, we want to represent this team, this school and this community with integrity,” Graham said.
Kirtland will have seven starters back on offense and six back on defense this season.
The second-year head coach has been impressed by his team's progress on the defensive side of the ball during the offseason.
“The defense is what I'm really excited about. We're a lot further ahead right now than we were last year,” Graham said. “We got a lot of work to do, but I'm really pleased with their effort.”
Offensively, the Broncos will rely heavily on their three running backs Bryceson Arthur, Jacob Belin and Keishaun Aspaas to move the ball.
“We got a little more speed there this year, and we hope to utilize that,” Graham said.
Rashaan Sorrelhorse will return at quarterback for a second year, as well as his primary target, 6-foot-4 tight end Christian Mackey.
Mackey is hoping his presence in the passing game will take a little pressure off of the Broncos' running game.
“It's just to benefit the team. We have a solid running game, so if the quarterback can get a couple of passes in, it will be nice,” he said.
Kirtland opens with its first four games at home and is hoping that will help lead to a fast start this season.
“I think it will be perfect, because we'll get that boost from the fans. Hopefully, our hometown can make it out to the games,” Mackey said.
After having a difficult time in District 1-4A the last four seasons, the Broncos are hopeful they can break through against one of their tough district opponents.
“Up here with (Piedra Vista), Farmington and Aztec, you don't get an easy one,” Graham said. “Great football is played up here.”
The team feels they are better prepared this year for the tough district slate thanks to Graham's coaching style.
“We're confident this year. Coach Graham has a great philosophy of sticking together as a team,” Mackey said. “He's a great man and a good mentor for all of us. We need to get mentally prepared.
We made a lot of silly mistakes and penalties, but once we clean those up, we'll be solid.”