"I remember watching Joe Kassanavoid and all those guys play football, and they were awesome to me," current Lawson quarterback Garrett Titus said. "Just seeing them in the hallway was awesome. Your heart would beat faster because you saw them."
"They were gods to me. That was the ultimate dream to go and play in the dome," running back Joshua Jacobsen said. "I was like, 'Wow, that'd be great.'"
Now the class of 2014 has taken on that 'big man on campus' role, and has Lawson back in the Class 2 Championship.
"Coming into this season, we didn't know what to expect from this group, because we didn't have a whole lot of returning starters," Dunn said. "But we've got a big senior class and I think they just kind of made up their mind that we don't care what anybody says or what anybody thinks, we're going to be successful."
That mindset has allowed them to overcome an underdog label throughout the year.
The Cardinals won four of six games against opponents that have spent time in the state rankings, including the last two weeks against Higginsville and Blair Oaks.
"Their mantra all season has been prove them wrong," Dunn said. "That's why you see PTW all over the place. They made that up. That's why they came up with that because they knew people were doubting them all the way through."
Lawson will be doubted one more time Friday when they go up against Lamar -- the team that's won the last two state titles and outscored its last five opponents 324-19. But the Cardinals won't over think it. They'll stick to the game plan that's led them to the brink of another state championship.
"We can shut them down if we play our best game and we keep fresh bodies in there and we just play our best," Titus said. "There's no other way to put it."
The Class 2 State Championship between Lawson and Lamar kicks off at 4:15pm Friday.