BOONEVILLE (KFSM) - Just one team in the entire state of Arkansas finished with an undefeated record last year
"It was incredible," fullback/linebacker Cam Brasher remembered. "There's no other feeling like it in the world. It's just something special that not many people get to experience."
Now, the Booneville Bearcats are carrying the momentum into the new season to do it again.
"The kids, they know what's expected here," head coach Scott Hyatt said of his team's winning ways. "They're expected to win. That's what we plan to do."
The defending state champs know that the celebration at War Memorial leads to a target on their back this year.
"When you play here, you're always used to pressure," offensive/defensive tackle Ethan Pirraglia explained. "We're expected to win here, so it's something you're always looking forward to every year is that pressure on you."
Now that the team knows winning isn't out of the question, it's about maximizing the potential to bring out the best game - especially after graduating some key playmakers.
"We gotta have the heart too," Pirraglia mentioned. "You hear people saying we lost everybody, we don't have a chance. But we should build off them. That should make us want to come back harder and faster than ever."
"We're going to have to have some things fall into place and get some breaks, just like last year," Coach Hyatt added. "But they're capable of having a good season."
With the drive to keep the 15-game winning streak alive and players stepping up to the challenge, Booneville knows the force it can be in the 3A.
"I think we're looking to win another state championship for them," noseguard Cort Mizell said when asked what the team wants to do for the community this season.
I think we can do it too. I think they can expect that."
"Come at us," Brasher added on what opponents can expect. "The pressure's on, but we battle until the end of the game. Until the final tick of the clock."
While you won't see offensive star Carson Ray and defensive star Noah Reyes, Evan Schlinker is back at quarterback creating a dynamic duo with Andrew Robertson. Add that with the visible size on the line from Pirraglia and Mizell - no doubt the Bearcats have plenty of talent filling the roster this year.
Booneville will open its season August 30th at Clarksville. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.