SPENCER — There's a renewed energy coursing through spring football workouts at Star Spencer.
It's not a familiar feeling for the players, because none of them were there in the fall of 2009, when the Bobcats were on top of the world as the Class 4A champions.
No, these players have been at Star for multiple coaching changes, back-to-back one-win seasons, and finally last year, a little bit of a breakthrough.
The Bobcats finished 5-5 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
But they were in the playoffs with a team made up considerably of freshmen and sophomores. Last fall, those young players thought they could be a good team. Now, they know it.
“We're ready, because we know how big this can be,” said running back Jerome Smith, who will be a junior in the fall. “Experiencing the playoffs, it makes scrimmages or practice feel like it's light work, because you know what the road ahead is.”
The class of players who will graduate this month were the last ones around from the 2009 title team, and they left a legacy with the current players.
“That group of guys that just left, I learned a lot from them,” said quarterback Marshawn Reid II, one of only a couple players who will be seniors. “They taught us about not giving up. Two years ago, when we were 1-9, we were down 40-0 and we were still pushing hard. And we just kept pushing, and last year we went 5-5 and made it to the playoffs.
“You can't give up, and that's what they always taught us.”