(GRANT CITY, Mo.) Worth County won its sixth 8-man State Championship last season downing Mound City 50-20, but the Tigers are not satisfied.
"There's definitely still some kids, and we've got some younger talent with the younger kids, that they want to have their shot at it now," Worth County head coach Chuck Borey said.
"We're trying to stay humble," senior offensive and defensive lineman Dylan Kinsella said. "After one state championship, yeah it was great, but you always want to win one more."
Eli Mullock dominated the 2012 state championship rushing for 248 yards and six touchdowns on 31 carries, but he graduated in the Spring.
That opens the door for Dallas Greenland, who played primarily at fullback last season, to carry the bulk of the running game.
"It'll be a little different look than what Eli gave us, but he's excited to carry the ball a few more times than he has the past couple years," Borey said.
Greenland will be helped by an offensive line that has received plenty of reps. The unit only lost one starter from last year's team.
"It's good that we have an experienced line and we should be able to get some holes opened up for our running backs," Borey said.
Kinsella still expects to go out and earn every yard the Tigers get.
"We'll be experienced for sure, but that doesn't give us anything," Kinsella said. "We still have to go hard everyday."
The 2012 season will be special for Kinsella. The senior lost his sophomore and junior years to season-ending ACL injuries. Now he wants his shot to play in the dome in St. Louis.
"I've been ball-boy for this high school team since the fifth grade and I've been watching them since I've grown up," Kinsella said. "And I've always wanted to win a state title and be on the field and just hold the trophy up, but last year I didn't get the opportunity to play. So I'm a little bit more hungry to help our team get there."
After a 13-0 campaign last season, the Tigers are hoping to find the same magic that the 2000 and 2001 Worth County teams had that won back-to-back state championships. And the team has adopted a new mantra for it.
"26-0," Kinsella said. "That's our goal."