ROGERS (KFSM)-- Rogers Heritage has seen its share of struggles on the football field in recent years, and coach Tony Travis knows why.
"It snowballs. We would get down about our situation and it would lead to being in a bigger hole."
The War Eagles won one game last season, up from zero the year before. But they were in most games last season (most notably a heartbreaking 35-34 loss to crosstown rival Rogers) before falling off in the second half. Coach Travis and star quarterback Trey Kitterman think that when it comes to fixing things, the solution is in the words they use. Or rather, don't use.
"We're eliminating the word cant from our vocabulary," says Travis.
"We're getting rid of the I's and me's, what's in it for this guy and in it for that guy. It's about what's in it as a team," adds Kitterman.
While the team is limiting their vocabulary, Kitterman is expanding his role in his senior season.
"He's gonna slip over and play some defense as well this year," Travis reveals. "I've always joked with him that he's a linebacker who can throw the football."
At 6'3, 230 pounds, it's certainly an apt description for the intimidating Kitterman, who is know for not shying away from contact as a runner. He's excited for this opportunity.
"As quarterback I don't really get to hit anybody, so as linebacker now I can show my aggressive side and hit some people."
Coach Travis isn't making this move out of necessity.
"It's what he can do for us more than anything else. He's a good linebacker also...I think we're better when he's out on the field."
And Travis is hoping his adjustments lead to early success for the team.
"The biggest thing we have to do is get a win early. I think that could springboard us to more wins. Everybody knows 7A West is tough football."
The coach sees those early games as vital to later conference success.
"Hopefully a win in non conference will give us some momentum going into conference, and we pull off one of those games nobody thinks that we can win, and that will get things going for us."
Heritage kicks off their season September 1st at Little Rock Central.