COALGATE, OK -- Some how, some way the Coalgate Wildcats finished last fall with a winning record but were still left out of the playoffs.
"It was really disappointing, you know, we really came into that last game really excited and really hoping to make playoffs, but we just couldn't seal the deal and it really hurt a lot," senior lineman Tristan Williams said.
A lot of that has to do with the strength of 2A-4.
Their matching 3-3 district records with Kingston and Marietta kept them from a playoff berth because of tie breakers. That strength is a good thing though for the young club.
"As far as this district goes this year," head coach Dusty Newberry said. "I think every team is very evenly matched. I think that you could basically put everybody up there and throw darts at a board and the four that you land on have as good a shot at playoffs as anybody. We've just got to show up, do every little extra thing that we do, and every little extra thing that we do that somebody else isn't doing, we think that makes us just that much better."
They've got a new head coach this season in Newberry. He's a Coalgate alum who played back in their glory days.
The players seem to enjoy his style of coaching.
"He brings a lot of excitement, he's always enthusiastic, always gets everybody going. We're always, you know, we get down he really helps motivate us," Williams added.
The goal is always playoffs in Coalgate. That's something Newberry won't change.
They're also only two years removed from hosting a first round playoff game something they'd love to accomplish this season especially for their town.
"It means a lot. It's important and football is a big deal around here and just something we always want to do," senior linebacker Ty Mowdy said.
"They're hungry, they've experienced it and they want to experience it again and they want to do it several times this year," Newberry concluded.