WYNNEWOOD, Okla. (KTEN) - Wynnewood came oh so close to the playoffs last season under first year head coach Joe Jones, but came up just short in the last game of the season going 4-6 overall. It was a big improvement from a winless season in 2020 though.

"A lot more comfortable this year. I feel like I have a better grasp of what we're capable of as a program and as a team and as players and coaches," said Jones. "I told the kids this could be the year of the savage. Not that we're going to be state champions, but we can start putting ourselves back on the maps in athletics."

With Coach Jones heading into his second year, the players wouldn't want anyone else leading the way.

"We lost our last game to go to playoffs, and I feel like that's when our connection really hit. That's when it sunk in," said sophomore quarterback Caden Knighten. "I gave full 100 percent trust in the man, and I love him everything about him."

As the program looks to continue their momentum into the 2022 season, the team is bringing back some experience and new faces to help them.

"We're returning seven starters on both sides of the ball, so we have a lot of game experience. Not all those starters are seniors which are upperclassmen some are lower classmen, which is good for the longevity of our program," said Jones.

"We had a couple guys move here that I feel like will play a very important part," said senior running back Derick Fields. "We had a lot of guys come back, and I feel like we have a really good roster."

"There's a buzz about us. There's an excitement. The kids are holding each other accountable a lot more this year than they were last year," said Jones. "Our expectations are higher. They're realistic expectations, but they're higher than what they have been the last few years."

The Savages open up their season on the road vs Valliant on September 2nd.