A new era begins in White Oak - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

A new era begins in White Oak

WHITE OAK, TX (KLTV) - Coming off a 13 win season, excitement was in the air at White Oak's first preseason practice. But with only three players returning from a state semifinalist run, there is work to be done.

"A quote that we had in the off season was, we are not going to rebuild, we are going to reload," said White Oak senior Jake Pullen. 

"We already established a culture here in the past of success and we are just trying to continue that,".said White Oak senior Josh Hampton.

Kris Iske is taking over for Gerry Stanford as the head coach. Iske had been the Roughnecks defensive coordinator.

"He is a lot like coach Stanford honestly," said Pullen.  "I mean him and coach Stanford work a lot alike. He has changed a little bit, but it is pretty much the same with coach Stanford here."

One thing that will be different is the offense.  Not a single player returns on that side of the ball.

"We have to learn a whole new offense," said Hampton.  "I mean same concepts but new plays, new system so this two weeks right here is really important for us."

Pullen and Hampton have taken it upon themselves to show the other guys what it takes to be successful.

"Last year there were so many seniors and they did a great job of leading us so I am trying to follow in their footsteps and do the same thing with these younger guys this year," said Hampton.

With all the changes, many think it will be a down year for one of East Texas' powers. But don't tell that to White Oak.

"A lot of people are doubting us just because of all the seniors that we graduated were starters," said Pullen.  "But we are optimistic."

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