CADDO, OK -- It is hard to believe it has been four years since the Caddo Bruins ran the Class B table and took home the state title.
It has been an odyssey ever since. The two seasons following they would have to play in 11-man Class A, but before last season they would be back in 8-man where they believe they belong.
"Any time you go up a level and play some stiffer competition that always helps you. The guys that will be juniors this year had to play as freshmen against some really good teams in Class A and this year I told them it's going to really slow down for them, they're going to see it a lot better and going against that kind of competition, it's always good for your program," head coach Jeremy Proctor said.
"It makes you a better defensive team scheme-wise and on offense it just goes in 8-man, it's an offensive game. But on defense it really helps you in 11-man scheme-wise I think," senior Patrick Joines added.
Last fall in their first season back in Class B the Bruins would finish 5-5 just outside of the playoffs. That is something their seven seniors plan to change.
"We're just going to come out, hit harder, hit stronger, work harder, just come out and play our best," senior Zachary Watkins said.
"We'll be better than last year, we're more experienced and we're older, we're an older team. We've worked hard this summer and coach Proctor he'll have us ready to go come Week 1," Joines added.
We will know exactly how they measure up against the state in Week 1 when the Bruins welcome Alex to town. That is the same team that would dethrone Laverne in the title game last season. It is also the same team that would beat Caddo in the regular season.
Their running back would rush for 415 yards and seven touchdowns in that loss. Caddo is hoping they can shut him down Sept. 4.
"Definitely will give us a challenge and we'll come out and play our hardest though. He won't run on us like he did last year though," Watkins concluded.