Poteau's trip to the 4A state championship game was the first time the Pirates played for a title in more than 50 years. Now they set their sails on winning one.
But first they have to find a replacement for graduated quarterback Jace Pitchford.
"You get one of those every so often and he was a special player and a special young man but we feel like we`re going to be fine," Poteau coach Greg Werner said. "We've got some kids to step in at different spots and I think take some pressure off our quarterback."
Running back Roger Barcheers should shoulder much of that pressure as he's rushed for more than 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons but he passes credit down to his offensive line.
"They open up big holes so it's pretty easy to pick up yards," Barcheers said. "This year our line is probably going to be a little better so probably a little easier to get more yards this year."
Poteau's defense held eight opponents to 14 points or less last season and look to be just as affective with Austin Archey back at middle linebacker.
"We feel like our front seven has really come a long way and of course Austin Archey who is back this year is in the middle and he's a special young man," Werner said. "A kid that I feel is a true division one linebacker."