It's a year of change for the Bowie Jackrabbits.
Not a change in expectations, but a change in environment.
Bowie jumps down from Class 3A to Class 2A Div. I for the upcoming season. With an enrollment of 432, the team was one of the smallest 3A teams in the state in 2011. By comparison, Burkburnett had 869 students. Graham had 732.
Now, partly because of a three-student difference, Bowie is one of the biggest 2A schools with 429 students.
"Sometimes in the past, we've had five or six two-way players, and we've played people who've maybe had one," head coach Dylan Stark said. "Playing against people that also have two-way players should equal that out."
The Jackrabbits, a surprise playoff team in District 6-3A last season, now has a new weapon for the upcoming season: depth.
"We'll have fresh legs on the field most of the time," senior quarterback Richard Pellizzari said. "Everybody can be flying around, hitting hard."
Senior center Eli Shaw says the team's depth will most benefit the team's offensive identity: running the football.
"We're still going to play smashmouth football," he said.
Despite the loss of thousand-yard rusher Payton Betts to Austin College (Sherman), Stark says the main goal is to run, but he looks forward to an improved passing game this season.