DURANT, OK -- The Durant Lions had to be the best 2-8 team in Oklahoma last year. Their strength of schedule was off the charts, but it doesn't change the outcome.
"Main thing I'd say is we want to go out winning, we don't want to lose 2-8 again, that was horrible," senior lineman Alec Rudolf said.
It's not like they were getting blown out every game. Half of those contests were decided by ten points or less. That's what's driven them this off-season.
"Trying to get bigger, faster and stronger just like everybody else. But we're also trying to finish too. You know we lost four games by ten points last year and three of those games we had double-digit leads at some point in time , so we've got to finish. Got to seal the deal,"head coach Byron Cordell added.
"Towards the end of the season our games started getting away from us more and more and we can't have that lack of character. We've got to come out and finish every game, we've got to start every game like we're going to win and we've got to finish every game like we're 20 points behind," senior lineman Blaise Gorges said.
The schedule will be just as tough. They'll have their usual Ardmore and Ada non-district contests before having to face Shawnee and McAlester in district play. Playing that level of competition will be a big bonus if they can make the postseason.
"It's going to be a huge confidence builder for these guys knowing that some of the teams we've played, what we've gone through. That we know we can compete with anybody in the state if we get to that level," Gorges said.
Six-of-their-ten contests this year will be right down the street at Paul Laird Field.Their main goal is to bring a seventh to town.
"At least get a home playoff game. That would be awesome, to get people to see us really do well. Durant needs to get that revival going, the football team needs to get that spirit going again," Gorges concluded.