SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Golden Eagles from Springfield's Central High School kicked off their season at Everett High School this evening.
This past December, they were the first team in western Mass to ever bring home the state championship title.
"It takes no talent to have good technique and to hustle and follow instructions. It takes zero talent. All it takes is commitment," stated one coach during practice.
Central's Golden Eagles are ready to take on the 2019 season as reigning state champions.
"It was a great accomplishment. I think everyone around the program was happy. It was a goal something that we have been chasing for the last couple of years. There was a lot that went into it and not just with that team, but the teams before," Offensive Coordinator William Watson tells us.
But this current team isn't letting the thrill of victory from last season distract them from their goals and vision of this season.
"Goals don't change, you know? Last year is last year. This is a completely different team and we have to take it one game at a time. We don't really tie in last year's achievements to this year's team," said Watson.
Senior Mahari Miller tells Western Mass News that, even though the team comes into the season as the favorite, they still have an underdog mentality.
"Don't think most of us felt pressure from outside sources, but mostly within ourselves. Just knowing we have a good enough team to be able to do something like this. Not a lot of us have been winning and stuff our whole lives. A lot of us have been playing the game for a long time," says Senior Mahari Miller.
Something offensive lineman Travis Gause agrees with.
"We worked hard all off-season. I don't think anyone trains as hard as us and that just carries on over in the season," noted Gause.
"We have to come out every day like we didn't win anything," continued Miller.
And while fans can expect a similar team come game day, there will be some new twists in the playbook.
"[What's one thing people should expect to see from you guys this year?] Speed. A lot of speed everywhere," stated Miller.
"We have a lot of kids that are talented, but they have to prove themselves. You have to get it done out here on the field. A lot of times it doesn't matter from the outside looking in. We have kids that are talented, but they have to go out and prove that they can win football games and that's a big thing for us this year," added Watson.
The Golden Eagles traveled across the state to open their non-conference schedule against Everett and won 44-18.
They will travel to Central Catholic High School next week.
Fans, however, will have to wait until Week Five before they return Berte Field for their home opener.