HEALDTON, OK -- The Healdton Bulldogs are a perrenial playoff team, but it's usually just one and done.
They'd love to make their first deep postseason run in nine years but right now they're focusing on surviving one of the hardest districts in Class A ball.
"Our goal is to of course make a run for a district title. It's a tough district, with the Ringlings and the Velmas and the Empires in here, but anythings possible so we're just excited to get the season started," head coach Mark Barrett said.
Ringling of course ran the table last year, escaping Boone Pickens Stadium with their first gold ball since 2003. Healdton meanwhile took note. Catching the news their arch-rivals were state champions gave them a little confidence boost.
"That was just weird, I didn't expect them to win it, I mean they're good but I didn't see that coming. But I mean it shows you anybody can win it," junior Bulldog Dylan Webb said.
One thing they have in their favor, is a seasoned head coach. Mark Barrett is heading into his second year with the program, coming in town from Class A powerhouse Wayne.
He knows what it takes to win and his players are taking note.
"Practices have been run like I have been for years this year we just sort of turned up the intensity, it really helped that the kids know the system, because it's the same system we ran last year, so I expect more out of them and they're giving me a lot more than they did last year," Barrett added.
The conditioning has been turned up also because they know any advantage they can get will work in their favor.
The goal now is to bring a playoff game to Healdton and make a run because of what it would mean for the club and the Bulldog faithful.
"It'd be a really big deal because we've made it to the playoffs every year, just the first round and I think it'd be really good if we made it past the first round," Webb concluded.