WHITEWRIGHT, Texas (KTEN)- New Whitewright head coach Blake Yancey took over the Tiger football program back in April and his impact is already being felt.

“He cares about the kids,” senior running back and safety Kenneth York said. “He cares about the sport. His main intention is to get us better. Make us better men, better football players and win games."

Likewise Yancey has been equally impressed with his players.

“We got kids that work hard,” Yancey said. “They’ve been accountable. Had a really good summer.  Anytime you take any job, you have a format and an expectation level of what you want it to look like. Obviously I wasn’t here prior to this, but I felt like it was met.”

The Tigers have five starters back on each side of the ball this year, although the team isn’t overly senior heavy.

“We have more junior-led team, some sophomores, some freshmen sprinkled in,” Yancey said. “I think it’s just that whole buy-in piece and being a unit. That’s what you want. You want to form that team bond that your not dependent upon a grade level, you’re dependent on a teammate.”

It’s a message his players have received.

“:Last year, I felt like we weren’t together as a team,” senior linebacker and running back Tyler Denlinger said. “But this year, I feel like we are more together. That bond it’s hard to break between us this year, and I think it’s going to be a challenge for the other teams.”

Whitewright has finished fourth in district two years in a row now, and it’s players are hungry to shake up the standings

“We've been working all summer,” Denlinger said. “This week we’ve been working and grinding and it’s paying off right here right now. I’m excited for this first game to see what we can come out and do because I believe that we’re going to be the underdogs this year.”

That eagerness for battle is exactly what Yancey wants to see as he and his players establish a new foundation for the Tigers for the years to come.

“It’s a tough game. It’s a tough sport. It’s for tough people,” Yancey said. “And you’re finding a way to build that culture and that climate to make them understand that this is who we are and what we’re about.”

The Tigers will also boast a new offense this year under Yancey as they plan to run a wing-T style system. That offense will make its debut on August 25 when the Tigers travel to Clarksville in their week one contest.