The familiar faces are there; guys like Chase Fisher, Britt Mitchell, and Eddie jones. Key components of the 2004 state championship team. But this isn't 2004, and the Bulldogs don't like to compare.
"Last year, was a great year for us," explained Kilgore head coach Mike Vallery. "We feel real fortunate to have that season. You know, in this game of what we play, each year is a new year, and this football team is trying to establish their identity."
It's an identity that mixes fresh, new talent with experienced, veteran leadership, who have been to the promised land.
"You know, those extra 6 games helped us prepare for the next year," said senior center Lon Roberts, "and helped us get physically prepared and mentally where our nerves are calm when we get into situations and we just know how to win.
"We know what it's all about and we do have what it takes," said senior Tight End Britt Mitchell. "We can go and we can do it again."
And when they say that, it's hard not to believe them. They have a quiet confidance about them, based on complete trust in their coaches, and a serious case of tunnel vision.
"That's all we see right now, is we got one more game," said Roberts.
"I think our kids feel like, when we step on the field on Friday night that we can play with anybody," said Vallery, "and I think that's the way you want your kids to feel. But, I think they're smart enough to know that, at the same time, that anybody can beat you. To me, that's the sign of the maturity of a football team."
Kilgore takes on Nederland Saturday at 2:00 at Abe Martin Stadium in Lufkin.