GRAVETTE (KFSM) - In 2018 the Lions went 1-9 and entered this fall with understandably low expectations. And when Gravette began the season 0-2, things looked bleak.
But then first year coach Kelby Bohannon and the Lions beat Jay 34-13 and surprised Lincoln in the conference opener 34-14.
"You know you look at Hootens and they had us losing to Lincoln but we ended up blowing them out of the water," said senior Mason Dagley. "It's a big, big confidence booster. People don't expect that to happen out of a small team like us but we showed we're a big threat to the 4A-1."
Now the Lions have won back-to-back games for the first time since a four game streak during weeks seven through ten of the 2017 season.
"The last two wins have definitely helped," agreed junior quarterback Cy Hilger. "It's boosted our confidence greatly."
And that's after Gravette got a late start to the Kelby Bohannon era, when the new head coach didn't take over until mid-June.
"Going back to the resiliency of our kids, they went through a lot a year ago," Bohannon reflected. "And then with the transition happening the way it did being extremely late, they've just really been tough."
"There's a better vibe in the locker room and everyone is getting along better, and we're playing a lot harder for each other," Hilger summed up.
And that's the main difference from a 1-9 season to sitting at 1-0 in conference play. Attitude.
"It's a big confidence booster, I mean you got kids in the locker room you see a lot better attitudes between everyone. And everyone seems to be happier. The coaches are pushing everyone harder," described Dagley.
I think it's confidence and belief," said coach Bohannon. "We've really stuck together as a unit, relied on one another for a lot of things. You know they've bought in to what we're doing."
Gravette continues its tough start to 4A-1 play with a trip to Prairie Grove on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.