THACKERVILLE, OK - Seniors are a precious commodity in high school football and in Thackerville the few that remain on the 2018 Wildcats are determined to set the tone for the young guys from day one.
"I am real excited. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time and I think it is going to be a good year," said Thackerville senior Zach Nelson.
"I really hope we can get in the playoffs. We have been in the playoffs the past three years now and hopefully we can for one more year," said Thackerville senior Akin Shurbet.
"I think we have a lot of good teammates out here and we are just going to make it a good year," said Thackerville senior Jeren Shurbet.
"I told them they need to accept the challenges of being leaders here. We are a young group, inexperienced, so they have got to bring them along," said Thackerville head coach David Garza.
How fast those underclassmen develop will be a key to the Wildcats success this season and Coach Garza likes what he sees so far.
"Youth is youth, but as I have told them, it is now where we start but where we finish," said Garza.
Where they plan on finishing is back in the playoffs and one thing you can count on every Firday night in Thackerville, playoffs or not, is a great crowd full of die hard Wildcats fans.
"This community is really awesome. They bond around these kids and they do everything in the world for them. It is a very family-like atmosphere," said Coach Garza.
"It is really exciting. I have got a lot of family out here," said Jeren Shurbet.
"I like playing in front of them to show them what Shurbet blood is like because there is at least three or four Shurbet's out here," said Akin Shurbet.
"It is just a great vibe throughout the stadium and lots of supporters. It is just a great community," said Nelson.