Burkburnett quarterback Brian Lewis faces a pair of challenges for the 2012 season.
One: he's stepping into the starting role as a sophomore. Two: he's following in the footsteps of his older brother Bret. He threw for 2,207 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2011.
Fortunately, new faces in starting roles are a common thread for the 2012 Bulldogs.
"These kids are really excited about proving themselves," head coach Scott Boswell said. "Youthful enthusiasm is always something coaches look forward too."
Only five starters and four seniors return from a 6-5 (4-1) playoff team last season. Among the players lost to graduation, two playing college ball in wide receiver Blaine Curren (Midwestern State) and runningback Devin Chafin (Baylor).
"There's a lot of people that have said whispers of 'we can't handle the incoming barrage, all the stuff that's going to be on our shoulders this year'," junior runningback Jason Allred said.
With those whispers around, it's easy for the team to take the "us against the world" approach.
Senior lineman Ricky Clark agrees.
"We just kind of band together, get that mindset," he said.
The new kids won't start the season on empty. They've been in the Burkburnett system their entire lives, running the same plays from JV to middle school.
They've also been first-hand witnesses to success.
"The chance for those kids to come here and watch kids roll through the program on Friday nights before them for years, that's a huge deal," Boswell said.
As for Lewis, he has the added benefit of watching his big brother play his position.
"I can improve on the things he did wrong, and I can look at the things he did right and try and do them that way," he said.
Burkburnett opens the season on August 31st.
8/31 vs. Gainesville
9/6 at Wichita Falls
9/14 at Decatur
9/21 vs. Bridgeport
9/28 at Mineral Wells
10/5 vs. Krum
10/11 at Hirschi
10/26 vs. Vernon
11/2 at Iowa Park
11/9 vs. Graham