DOWAGIAC - Optimism abounds on the football field in Dowagiac this fall. The Chieftains return 15 starters from the squad that made it to the regional title game last season. But instead of talking about what they've already accomplished, the 2012 Chieftains are instead talking about ways to be even better.
"We made it to regionals last year, but didn't really finish how we wanted," senior running back Todd McIntyre says.
"(My) senior year, we're looking to make it further."
Coach Mike Stanger is motivating his senior class with thoughts of leaving a legacy.
"That last year that you play is the year that you leave your mar", Stanger says.
"We return a lot of players from last year's regional team who played a significant role, but it's your senior year that you look back on."
"As a team we're out to build on the success of last year, but create their own identity and have success their senior year."
Dowagiac opens at Vicksburg on Thursday night. The home opener is the following Thursday, August 30.