ATOKA, OK. -- The Atoka Wampus Cats are back on the field as the Jacob Cupp era gets underway.
"I'm excited," Cupp said. "I'm excited to step on the field with these guys because I know they are going to play their hearts out. That's all I ever ask."
Cupp is the third head coach the Wampus Cats have had in as many seasons. He takes over a team that went 1-9 last season, and he's already putting his fingerprints on the program.
"He's very physically demanding, but he is trying to get the best out of everybody," Atoka senior TJ Morrison said. "that's exactly what he is going to do."
"Well, if he says do something you better start doing it," Atoka senior Lucas Brooks said. "Stuff like whenever we break to line up on the ball. Little stuff like that will help us get fit more. We do a lot more running this year than we did last year."
"There are a lot of guys (who will contribute)," Cupp said. "Everybody that steps on that field, everybody on our team 10-12 they will be contributing. They don't have a choice."
The Wampus Cats haven't made the playoffs since 2009, and haven't won a playoff game since 2001. This group wants to be the ones that change the attitude and culture surrounding Atoka football.
"That would be great," Brooks said. "We need to prove everybody wrong. We've been saying we're going to do it for all these years, but we haven't."
"It would be a very magical experience," Morrison said. "Something this community hasn't seen in forever."
"Every day is a new day," Cupp said. "That's our goal is to get better every day because it doesn't happen overnight."
Atoka opens the season August 31st on the road against Coalgate.