(KLTV) - "I like being the underdogs. I like proving people wrong, it's one of my favorite things to do. They can keep saying things and we'll just do what we do," said Cameron Sorenson, senior receiver.
The Mineola Yellowjackets are the defending Class 3A Division I state champions. But after losing the powerhouse due of quarterback Jeremiah Crawford and running back Chantz Perkins, not to mention gaining a new head coach in Luke Blackwell, the competition sees a chink in the armor.
"We always preach to the kids that we are going to worry about the things we can control. I can't control the rankings or what we did last year and the year before, those aren't things we can control. What we need to worry about are the things we do right now," said Luke Blackwell, Yellowjackets first year head coach.
"We just got to work hard and don;t even think about it. You know people are going to come in and take out the defending champions," said Curtis London, senior running back.
"Hey man, we got people coming up, too, every program does," said Sorenson.
Certain that they will still be competitive in 2017, the Yellowjackets are ready to show Jacket pride is here to stay.
"You got to keep winning. That's the first thing. Really though, we just have to work hard and come out here and do what we do. We have the mindset, we've been here a while, we're the veterans on the team so we got to lead the younger guys and show them how we do it," said Sorenson.
"Ready to get the season started. Start playing with my boys again, and see how the season goes," said London.
"Pride is something that you see in yourself, but it's also the perception that you give others. So we want to make sure that we are carrying ourselves the right way. We are are working hard everyday and doing all the little things that are important for us to be successful," Coach Blackwell.
Mineola will have their first opportunity to make a statement week one against the Van Vandals from Class 4A.