WACO, Texas — They say the bond between players and coaches is a special one.
This season at Vanguard Prep, that connection will be even stronger. The Vikings have seven seniors on the roster, despite competing in six-man football. Many of those athletes have spent their whole high school careers at Vanguard.
"These guys were seventh graders when I was in my first year as a head middle school coach," Head Coach Luke Pilant said. "So, I've been with them all the way up. This is the first cycle of guys all the way through, so it's nice having them."
Pilant and the Vikings saw their season come to an end with a 54-8 thumping at the hands of Live Oak in the area round of the playoffs. That loss has served as motivation all offseason.
This year, the large group of seniors believe they have what it takes to make the next step.
"They bring a little bit of everything," Pilant said. "They got speed, they got some size, a lot of experience. A lot of these guys have been all-state guys at different positions in different years."
Senior Walker Nall will anchor the offense at quarterback, while Dalton Latham will be a major threat on both sides of the ball.
"It's amazing. They're always held accountable," senior Marlow Welch said of the senior leaders. "They know what they're doing. And you don't have to worry about them not doing the right thing."
Vanguard opens the year against Milford.