The Groveton Indians have had a campaign slogan of their own this year, ‘Warpath 2016.’
Week after week, they've taken teams down one at a time until they were the only ones left standing with a district title in hand.
“We've taken the beatings, but this year we're ready to dish them back out,” said left guard Ethan Reynolds.
That's exactly what they've done.
In undefeated fashion, Groveton can call themselves district champions for the first time in nine years.
“The past two years we took a lot of beatings and we finally came together as a family,” said left tackle Cody Fairchild.
“Everybody in the community is backing the football team. It's boosted everybody's morale on the team and made us drive and push harder every day at practice,” said linebacker Trey Hance. “We haven’t made our goal yet which is state.”
Their 9-1 record is the best run Groveton’s had in a decade and they've now entered a new season that includes a shot a state title.
“Our Fridays are limited, especially for us seniors. It's either you do or die and you're done,” said Fairchild.
“Everybody's going to keep thinking about how we're 9-1 and 5-0 in district but we're going to have to let it go,” said right guard Tanner Ebarb. “We're 0-0 right now. The 5-0 doesn't matter anymore. This is a new season for us.”
The new chapter for the Indians is starting exactly how they would have hoped.
The one loss they suffered this year was against San Augustine. The Wolves stormed back from a 21-point deficit and served Groveton their one and only loss with a 58-54 final.
“It makes it way more exciting than the normal just playing the next team. It's not like that. It's different because it's a rematch with San Augustine,” said Ebarb.
“We didn't come out and play like we wanted to last time but we're a whole different team now,” said Hance. “We know what to do and how to swarm to the ball. It'd be nice to beat the only team we haven't got redemption on this past year.”
It might be a war on the path to state, but it's one the Indians are willing to travel one battle at a time.
“We've been through it all from easy games to hard games. We're ready,” said Fairchild.
“We're going to try to come out, be aggressive and have our whole defense be head hunters and try to knock some helmets off,” said Hance.
Another first for these Groveton Indians would be winning a playoff game. The last time that milestone was reached was back in 2007.
Groveton and San Augustine will be duking it out on Saturday night at Eagle Stadium in Woodville. The game starts at 7 p.m.
The Wolves enter this game as the No. 4 seed with a 6-4 record.
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