The Rusk Eagles are on track to have their first winning season since 2006. On a four game winning streak, the feeling can be described in one simple sentence.
"It's way funner then losing is," said Damion Freeney, Rusk Eagle.
"I'm the same coach I was last year, we have the same defensive coordinator, the same nuts and bolts of the program. But the difference is that now they can see some results and now the kids are buying in. You see people in the stands, you got flags in the community and people believing in what you do. Confidence breeds successful," said Jowell Hancock, Rusk Head Coach.
It's bred an average of 40 points a game worth of success and a 5-1 record heading into District 8-4 A Division II play. Their latest 48-45 victory over a previously undefeated Madisonville, earned Rusk some recognition. But still wearing an underdog tag, they are hungry for a win over district opponent Jasper.
"We really want to beat Jasper because we've won 4 in a row after Madisonville people are still saying easy teams easy schedule. So after we beat Jasper were hoping to gain a little respect," said Jace Rogers, Rusk senior Eagle.
The Eagles are motivated, but don't mistake it for over confidence. Coach has his team in the right mindset.
"They don't have time to get a big head. I don't let them," said Coach Hancock.
Win or lose Friday night, the program is trending in the right direction.
"It's important for us to win because it builds a tradition for the next group," said Adrian Morris, Rusk corner and receiver.