CANYON, TX (KFDA) - After a disappointing season last year, the Canyon Eagles are ready to take District 3-4A by storm.
"We've already forgot about last year. It's just our attitude this year," said senior quarterback Lawton Rikel.
The Eagles are back at practice and ready to work to improve every day leading up to their first game of the year.
"We're gonna have each other's back every single game, every single practice and that's what we want to do," said Rikel.
With head coach Blake Bryant entering his 19th season as head coach, he hasn't forgotten what he's really there for.
"My favorite part about getting back here and getting going is being around the kids because that's who we're doing this whole thing for," said Coach Bryant.
Canyon's coaching staff is extremely vocal in practice, and the players know that if they don't give 100 percent, the coaching staff isn't afraid to call them on it.
"You can never slack off here," said Rikel. "The minute you do, you'll get jumped on by the coaches, and you know its not because they don't like you. It's because they love you, and that's the great thing about it; they want you to get better."
Coach Bryant wants to make sure his players feel the love, while still recognizing their chances to improve.
"We tell our coaches if they say 10 things, seven of them need to be positive," said Coach Bryant. "That's kind of my rule on the deal. We're going to coach hard, we're going to coach with a lot of positive reinforcement and when we see something we need to correct, we're gonna correct it and get right back to work."
The players have grown to appreciate this coaching style and find that it has a place in their role as upperclassmen and team leaders.
"They coach us to be leaders, and be vocal leaders with it, so we can bring others along with us," said senior offensive lineman Cole Mullins.
While last season is being left in the past, Canyon's football history adds a certain level of expectation that cannot be ignored.
"There's high expectations in this community. Our kids understand why its important to be a great Canyon Eagle football player, and they understand what comes with that," said Coach Bryant. "They understand that our community expects that out of us, and they're up to that kind of challenge."
With one last opportunity to leave behind a legacy in Canyon, these seniors are ready to take on the challenge.
"I feel like I really have to step up, not only with words, but with actions and lead all the younger players and show them what being a Canyon Eagle is all about," said Mullins.
The Eagles kick off their 2018 campaign in a matchup with the Palo Duro Dons.