(CAMERON, Mo.) Cameron has grown tired of losing, and their 2013 season is proof.
"It provides a lot of momentum. We're getting people behind the program again. We've got a great community," senior wide receiver and linebacker Jacob Cole said.
The Dragons broke through with a runner-up finish in Class 3, District 8 and an 8-4 record, a six-win leap in their second season under Jeff White.
"Now we just have the drive inside all of us to go out and do even better."To top it, the Dragons will have to replace 15 seniors, but boast 14 more that White hopes will carry on the new attitude instilled by their elders.
"The youngers guys saw that and I think they're going to fight hard for the seniors this year," he said. "Our seniors this year don't want to drop the torch. They want to keep going."
The Dragons took their biggest hit at the skill positions, losing quarterback Dakota Calhoon along with both starting wideouts, fullback, and most of their secondary. The most experience units will be the offensive and defensive lines, which is music to any coach's ears.
"They're some of the biggest linemen we've had at Cameron in a while. Every single one of them can run, so it's nice to have have guys like that up front. If you're going to have a strength, as a football coach, it's always nice to have it up front."
It will also be nice for whoever takes the reins under center, a spot that is up for grabs between Marshall Colson and Sean Gray, who split time in place of an injured Calhoon as sophomores.
"I like having the pressure on my shoulders to know that even if we don't have those same guys we did last year, I know our line is a big part," senior guard and defensive end Tommy Fish said. "Last year, we steamrolled some teams and took some games over. I think we can do that again this year."
How well the offense is run could seal Cameron's fate in 2014. Until then, they're setting their sights on the heavyweights of the MEC.
"You've always got to work to do better than expected," Cole said. "If you set low standards, you only achieve low. We're just shooting as high as we can go."
Cameron opens the season at home against Plattsburg on August 22.