Thursday night, our Training Camp Road Trip rolls in to Young County for a look at the Olney Cubs. The Cubs snapped a 38-game losing streak when they beat Archer City 42-25 in October.
"Man, that was awesome," said senior quarterback Brent McCorkle. "That was a lot of fun that night."
After finally getting the monkey off their back, they're aiming higher this year.
Coming into 2016 they are more confident as a team and they have big goals.
"Last year, we were still kind of unsure about ourselves," McCorkle said. "This year we know that we have the ability to win, so we're a lot more confident in ourselves."
"We're excited about this year," said head coach Mark Young. "We don't have to worry about the streak and all that stuff. We don't even hardly mention it anymore, and our guys are just ready to go. Our goal this year is to make the playoffs."
Olney brings back a ton of players, including McCorkle. In his second season as starter, the team is even more confident he can lead.
"I tell you what, Brent McCorkle is a good quarterback," said Coach Young. "He's real smart, and he's savvy at football, and when he's running the show it goes good."
"He's doing real good," said senior lineman Raymond Carrasco. "You know, we have faith in him. He's just a really good man and we're going to do our best to protect him."
The Cubs also have some skill players returning, and they want to use their team speed to their advantage this year.
Young: "I think right now we've got a lot of speed on our skill guys and our defensive line. I mean, our offensive line has got a lot of speed, so we're going to get into people. Get into them fast, do a little read game, and try to press the edges with our receivers and backs."
"We're trying to get the ball outside and give it to our skill players, our fast guys, so they can get around the defenses," McCorkle said. "And if we need to, we can still power it up the middle."
On defense the Cubs bring back a experienced secondary, and they will lean on them on that side of the ball.
"Our defense, we've got all of our DB's returning, so we're a lot more confident in the back," said McCorkle. "And we've got some big guys up front that will stop the run if they need to."
With realignment, the Cubs lost some strong teams in their district, and they have chance to fight for a playoff spot this season.
"Any time you lose state championships teams out of your district, you lose a team that's close to being 3A, and you lose another team that's gone three rounds in the playoffs, it makes it a little bit easier on you," coach Young said. "We've still got to play week to week. Nobody is going to be worried about the Olney Cubs, and that's the way we like it. And we're going to come out and surprise the district."
If the Cubs can make the playoffs this season, it would mean a lot to the seniors and the city of Olney.
"It would just be like, that final thing," McCorkle said. "Like, 'Man, that's what I did. That's what I did back in high school.' So it would be really nice."
"It would mean the world," Carrasco said. "We haven't been to the playoffs in, I don't even know how long. If we were to make the playoffs, I know all the seniors, that's the one thing we would look back on and tell our grandkids and stuff."
The Cubs will open their season on Friday, August 26th at home against the Jacksboro Tigers.
Friday night, we'll wrap up our look at District 5-2A Div. I with the Windthorst Trojans.
Olney Cubs 2016 Schedule
Aug. 26 vs Jacksboro, 7:30
Sept. 2 at Petrolia, 7:30
Sept. 9 at Nocona, 7:30
Sept. 16 vs Archer City, 7
Sept. 23 at Haskell, 7
Sept. 30 vs Stamford, 7:30
Oct. 7 vs Windthorst, 7*
Oct. 14 at Chico, 7*
Oct. 21 vs Alvord, 7*
Oct. 28 at Seymour, 7*
Nov. 4 BYE
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