AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Stratford Elks only understand success, no matter how tough their journey may appear.
“It’s always tough, but we’re gonna come out the toughest, for sure,” Stratford senior linebacker Trever Bell said.
The Elks are a team full of principles, and those principles and strict rules... like “control your emotions before your emotions control you,” it’s part of the reason why this team is a powerhouse in 2A football.
“You know, we talked a little bit this week about controlling your emotions, and not letting them control what we do this year,” Stratford Head Coach Matt Lovorn. “These guys are competitive but some sometimes those emotions can kind of take over. And it kind of makes you a worse player. I know when my emotions take over, it makes me a worse coach. So we talk about controlling our emotions and getting onto the next play.”
The Elks went 13-2 last year, falling to Hamlin 56-23 in the State Semi-Finals. They didn’t reach their preseason goal of playing a full 16-game season. This year, nothing will stop them from accomplishing that mindset.
“Whenever you have that 16-game mindset, it is a long road, and those guys start to buy into having that long road in front of them, but the whole time, throughout the season, there’s a lot of little steps you gotta take and it seems like this last year, especially the last few years, we’re taking a step in the right direction,” Lovorn said.
The Elks plan on only moving forward from here, sacrificing themselves for the greater good.
“Sacrifice each other for our team and just go out there and give it our all, just 100-percent all the time. It shows that we wanna be a part of this team.” Bell said. “We wanna win, we’re in it to win it.”
The Elks had a near perfect regular season last year. Their only loss came to Avian Cruz and WT Stinnett. This year, the Elks will look to get revenge in another week two matchup. However, the real victory for these players will be getting all the way to states and past Hamlin.
“It would mean everything, it would show Stratford that we’re still in this and we have a big tradition and we have a big road ahead of us. Being the best that we could be,” Stratford senior running back Tyler Stone said.
The Elks kick off their season this year on the road against Spearman, marking just the first of what they hope to be a 16-game season that ends with a trophy being raised in Dallas.