NEOSHO, Mo. — After a tough season last year, the Neosho Wildcats are only looking one direction: forward.
Drayke Perry, senior inside linebacker and fullback, says, “We’re always using our losses to motivate us and get better. Nobody wants another season like that. It’s not what anybody wanted. We’re using that to push us in the offseason and regular season.”
Despite the unusual circumstances surrounding the offseason, it was still productive.
Leon Miller, Neosho football head coach, says, “We’ve got a good group of kids that have worked really hard this offseason. This is probably one of the best offseasons we’ve had, believe it or not, since I’ve been here as far as commitment level and work ethic.
Players attribute the success of this offseason not to a specific workout routine, but to something stronger.
Kaden Decker, Neosho, senior right tackle and defensive end, says, “We’re just focusing on team atmosphere, being more of a family. Last year I feel like we didn’t have a really good connection and chemistry throughout the team, but this year we’ve really come together as a team. We’re playing for each other, not ourselves.”
Perry says, “I think the difference is everyone is like, grown closer together as a team. Bonding, being able to trust everyone to do their own job so you can do yours.”
With a stronger team relationship, the Wildcats are looking to keep things competitive.
Decker says, “I want our team to make it back to the district championship. I think that’s a good goal for us this season.”
Perry says, “We just play to the best of our ability. I wanna stand out, I want my team to stand out, not just me. I’m just looking for another district championship.”
Miller says, “We just want to go out each and every week and give ourselves a chance to be successful and win football games. What happens down the road, we’ll leave that up to somebody else. As long as there is a game ahead of us each and every week, we’ll prepare hard and go out there and try to get a win.”