A big target now sits on the backs of the Throckmorton Greyhounds this season.
"(Our motivation is) being the state champions, having that target on your back, being the team to beat," senior Gary Farquhar said.
The Greyhounds ran the table to the state title last season, and despite losing two of the best six-man players in the state in CJ Hantz and Tucker Brown, their goals are still set high for 2012.
Head coach Mike Reed says one of the best parts of coaching is that every year is different, with a new team, new players and just a new feel.
"The younger kids know they have a role," senior Levi Taylor said. "They fill it. If they get their spot, they'll do just as good."
For seniors like Farquhar and Taylor, they set the example by showing urgency on each and every play. Farquhar says the fact that it's his final season adds to that urgency. Taylor says younger players step up, no matter the situation, whether it's making one block, covering a kickoff or simply subbing in for one play.
"It makes my job easy," Reed said of having new players step up each year. "It has a lot to do with the town of Throckmorton."
Reed says the conversation of "how do replace player X and Y?" comes up each year.
"We're excited to let these kids answer that question for themselves," he said.
Although they've experienced the joy of a state championship, many of the Greyhounds remember the feeling of losing one in 2010. They prefer the 2011 feeling, as unexplainable as it may be.
"It's a feeling you enjoy and cherish, every moment of it," Farquhar said.
8/30 vs. Rotan (in Jayton)
9/07 at Follett
9/14 vs. Dallas Covenant
9/22 vs. Lucas Christian Academy (TBA)
9/28 at Motley County
10/05 at Windthorst* (first half 11-man, second half six-man)
10/12 at Bryson
10/19 at Crowell
11/02 vs. Paint Creek
11/09 at Knox City