Stronger Bond, Better Players Helping Apaches Win

The word "underdog" is quickly becoming a thing of the past as opponent after opponent meets the TJC Apache men's basketball team.
With a perfect record, the Apaches downed San Jacinto, the number five team in the country.
It's their best start in five seasons. A fact that has come as s bit of surprise in the conference. 
"If you are at Tyler Junior College, you're never an underdog," said head coach Mike Marquis. "I don't care what they rate you, everyone wants a piece of us."
The Apaches are 7-0 overall and 2-0 in region. A great start for a team picked to finish seventh.
So what  makes this season so different from years past? Coach Marquis said better players with a stronger bond.
"Most teams when they get in the huddle they yell, 'Apache,' or 'team' or 'defense.' This group yells 'family' and they mean it," Coach Marquis said.
"Everybody knows that they have the chance to get the ball," said sophomore Justin Johnson. "We stay with each other all around campus. I mean we stay in the dorms with each other, we talk, we have suite mates. I mean, everybody's close."
The Apaches picked up a win in their first road game of the season against Trinity Valley. With some players averaging double digits in scoring, the team hopes to turn that combination into a winning family affair.
The perfect record is put on the line against big time rival Kilgore. The Apaches play the preseason favorite Rangers in Kilgore at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Maya Golden reporting,