The Stuarts Draft High School football team finished with an 8-4 record last season, advancing to the second round of the Group A playoffs.
The Cougars lost by seven points to Shenandoah District rival Riverheads in that game.
The word 'finesse' does not describe Stuarts Draft.
Senior quarterback/free safety Chris Knecht says, "We're gonna go hard. That's Cougar football. We're gonna hit you in the mouth."
Senior offensive and defensive lineman Tyler Knecht adds, "We want the other team to know who they just played, and we want them to know when they play us, you're gonna get hit hard."
The Cougars made it to the second round of the state playoffs for the first time since 2007 last season, and they say they're looking to make it back to that level and beyond this year.
"We've been a one-hit wonder in the playoffs the past three or four years, and after a while that gets old," says head coach Rob Bowers. "Just participating is not as much fun as going a little bit deeper."
Chris Knecht says, "We want to be state champions. We've been saying that since the end of the season last year. We want to have a Thanksgiving dinner together. We want to be playing football in December."
The Cougars are bringing back a lot of players from last year's team.
"Our senior leadership has been outstanding so far," says Bowers.
Senior fullback/outside linebacker Dylan Yancey says, "It's senior year. This is it. It's light out, and you're done. This is the year everyone dreams about."
Senior running back/linebacker Devon Bush adds, "Knowing it's my senior year, knowing every down could be my last down, I'm just going all out."
Draft opens the season August 31st at Fort Defiance.
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