NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The season is has been full of ups and downs for the SFA Lumberjacks.
The team is entering the Southland Conference Tournament as the three seed. The team was picked to win the conference but a tougher conference this year did not make that as easy as in years past.
"Because of the success SFA has had, everyone has had to raise their level or you get left behind," Head Coach Kyle Keller said. "Coaches have done it. Schools have done it. You see it. New practice facilities, new locker rooms and facilities going on around the conference."
The toughness of the league could possibly be traced back through several years of play inside the William R Johnson Coliseum.
"I think it all started with Danny Kaspar," Keller said. "As his teams grew and as tough as they were it grew and when coach Underwood came in here you saw a lot of teams try to play like these teams here. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery."
In his second year with the team, Keller knows how the community and fan base feels about expectations, which is why he takes the task at hand serious.
"I think the league 1 through 8 is good," Keller said. "It is so much better than I thought it would be. I am shocked."
You don't have to look far to be reminded of the recent history. The banners of NCAA appearances hang above the team every time they take the home court. That was then and this is now, and the now needs it's own identity.
"We lived off the other guys for a long time," Keller said. "I am grateful for what they have done but it is time for these guys to create their own legacy."
The 'Jacks will play on Thursday night at 7:30 pm against either Lamar or Central Arkansas.