FRIONA, TX (KFDA) - Friona Chieftains quarterback Marco Monreal has a clear focus on what he hopes to accomplish this season.
"I just want to win. That's it. We got there last season but we weren't able to finish. Just winning is one of the big things were looking forward to this season." said Monreal.
After a disappointing first-round playoff loss for Friona last fall, Coach Jimmy Arias was disappointed, but not discouraged.
"It wasn't the end of the world that we lost because we are building, and these kids have given us a great foundation." explained Arias. "We'll have a lot of youth on our offensive line and leadership at the skill positions. So we feel that the leaders, the older kids, will be able to help the younger kids throughout the season. So we may struggle early on but hopefully by the end of the year we'll be on our strong suit."
Monreal shares the feeling that a good season is ahead.
"I feel really confident because we have a bunch of seniors that are anxious to get a Gold Ball this season." said Monreal. That's one of our main goals, but we know we have to take it one step at a time, one game by game, and with all the leadership we have around, we should be fine."
Arias is entering his 19th season as Friona's head coach, and says this year's team is a special one for many reasons. But changes in the offense are the most notable.
"What stands out is the offenses have changed," said Arias. "We were running a running type of offense, and now we're spread offense, and we're scoring lots of points- which in the old days, that never happened. So it's kinda fun to stand on the sidelines and watch a new type of offense get after it every game."
New offense aside, this season will be especially different for Monreal because of his role as a senior.
"The thing that's really changing for me is now that I'm a senior, I feel like I have to take charge of everything," said Monreal. "I've had to take it this past season. We've had a couple guys, a couple seniors take charge."
But this group of seniors is hungry for a Gold Ball, and that will be what motivates them all season long.
"We wanna be successful, so you should expect a team that's ready to go out and fight for everything," said Monreal. "We've been underdogs forever, but that's what fuels us the most."
Friona opens up their season in Farwell against the Steers on August 31st.