TIOGA, TX - "I am not being a good head coach if I'm not pushing you to the limit." said Cody Patton, the head coach of the Tioga Bulldogs.
The Tioga Bulldogs are entering 2019 as their second season in 11-man football this year. The first season brought the team challenges they didn't expect but that they took as they came.
"It was a struggle, you know, getting adjusted, but we persevered and we came through. It was a good season. I think we built a lot and maybe the wins didn't show it, but the morale did," said Carson Lewter, a sophomore middle linebacker.
"Teaching the guys new rules and stuff like that was a challenge but you know, I think they really did accept that challenge and it's helped last year building into this year" said Coach Patton.
And the Tioga community was a huge help for the team. Despite only winning one game last season, they showed up no matter the score.
"Even when we weren't doing so hot, they were still here every game. Traveling, road games. And still supporting and that's what I really like" said Kyler Patton, a senior fullback.
"They came out and they were really supportive even through all the losses and stuff but it was definitely something we enjoyed and something that we needed to keep us going" said Lewter.
Tioga not only played their first season in 11-man last year, but they also had to deal with injuries. The depth chart wasn't as deep as they would've liked and during certain games they had to relay on young players.
"Last year our team was so young. I think we started at one time, five or six freshmen" Coach Patton said.
"For me, I try to lead by example. Showing what needs to be done as far as effort and attitude, going your hardest every play" said Kyler Patton.
This year won't be a walk in the park, but Coach Patton says he see's a change in his team that he's excited for.
'Last year being 1 and 10 was really heartbreaking. But I can already see a difference in the team this year. It's a different team. It's just all around a better atmosphere than last year and I'm really excited to get it started and see how it plays out" said coach Patton.