"If you start making preseason predictions or looking at preseason polls, sometimes the players get that in their head and think they are better than they are, or they think somebody else is not as good they are," Pike said. "It can hurt you."
The Tigers posted a 3-1 record in the Platte Valley Conference last year and ended the season in a 3-way tie with North Andrew and Southwest Livingston. They also missed the playoffs due to the points system in district play.
DeKalb is using last year's standings as fuel to the fire.
"Anytime you're in a tie for something, it's not completely satisfying," Pike said. "Yeah, you ended up on the top of the list, but so did two other teams. You'd like to be up there by yourself, so it does add extra motivation to try to win it yourself and not be sharing it with somebody."
The Tigers weren't happy that they weren't standing alone at the end of the year. Pike says another tie atop the standings this season would be bittersweet for the black and gold. "It's like kissing your sister, I guess. It's just never what you want it to be."