COALGATE, OK – Only five football players would graduate from the Coalgate Wildcat program last spring giving all the players left over from their playoff run last November a lot of hype to make it back.
"I think it gives us a lot of confidence. We know that we can. We're able to conquer what we want to do and we can do it again,” senior safety and receiver Dakota Powell said.
"We want to go, we want to compete, we want to win. We want to go as far as possible, of course state championship is always on our minds. I mean just go out there, compete, do everything we can to win," senior quarterback Colby Jones added.
Eight seniors lead the Wildcat charge. All of them would play major roles on their playoff team a year ago.
In their first week of practice they are already making sure the younger Wildcats are on the same page.
"So far they've been vocal but at the same time, they lead us through their actions and that's just got to be what they continue to do throughout the rest of the season,” head coach Dusty Newberry said.
The back-to-back state champion Davis Wolves are still in the district. So are the red hot Kingston Redskins. Both of those teams are virtual locks to represent 2A-4 in the playoffs.
That means Coalgate will have to scrape their way through their district schedule to grab one of the final two spots.
"Week in and week out you've got to show up, you know, there's no layup games. You know, if you don't show up, you're going to get beat and in a district like ours, you take the wrong loss and you're not making playoffs,” Newberry added.
Failing to make the postseason would sting the purple and white. It will especially bother the seniors who want to make sure they are remembered in Wildcat country.
"We want to be known as some of the people that brought it back. Brought winning back to Coalgate, you know? Because we've had some tough years where we hadn't won a whole lot of games and we've been bringing it back and so we just want to do better this year,” senior receiver and corner back Rob Penney concluded.