East Atchison Sets the Bar High in Opening Season

By Matt Tritten | mtritten@kq2.com

Published 08/13 2014 05:45PM

Updated 08/13 2014 08:24PM

(TARKIO, Mo.) The newest team in the 275 Conference is full of familiar faces getting a fresh start.

"This is all brand new," East Atchison head coach Aaron Behrens said. "Brand new traditions. Brand new team. Brand new name. We get to make our own path, make our own way."

A co-op between Tarkio and Fairfax that began last spring produced the East Atchison Wolves. The birth of the program brings out a new color scheme, new uniforms and a chance to wipe the slate clean.

Tarkio finished 5-5 a year ago, but got knocked out of districts in the second round.

Fairfax, while in a co-op with Craig, only picked up one win all season.

"Last year was kind of a let down getting halftimed. It just didn't feel good, didn't feel right," Fairfax senior Miles Murry said.

As the two schools hit the reset button, there is pressure to begin building the foundation of a winning program.

"There's a lot riding on this year and these boys, and they know it and the coaching staff knows it," Behrens said. "We're not accepting two, three, four, five wins. We're striving for that six, seven, eight win season. Until we get it, we're not going to be satisfied."

While the players have already started to click and work toward those goals on the field, there is some resistance around the community.

"There are some people who don't believe the co-op was the right thing to do, but we believe it's 100-percent the right thing to do, and we're going to do good," Tarkio junior Connor Shaw said.

Players from both sides will never rid themselves of being an Indian or Bulldog at heart, but they are embracing the Black and Orange.

"I do have Tarkio pride still in me, but right now in football it's all about EA; about one family that we are right now."

The Wolves first game is August 22nd in Tarkio against Mound City.

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