In 2018, Bishop Carroll saw their season come to an end despite putting 67 points on the board, an 84-67 loss to the eventual 5A state runner-up Wichita Northwest.
"Oh that's not out of our system yet," said Carroll head coach Dusty Trail, "I don't think that'll be out of our system till game one."
Game one, a rematch with rival Northwest in their house.
"That's part of what's been driving us throughout the summer, those types of things are motivalational," continued Trail.
Bishop Carroll finished 2018 with an 8-3 mark, a season book ended with losses to the Grizzlies. But for 2019, two completely different teams will take the field week one.
For the Golden Eagles, it's a team that returns 7 starters on offense, but must replace players such as starting running back Jackson NIchols and current Wisconsin Badger Clay Cundiff.
"We've always had a next man up mentality, and we've got a lot of good competition for those spots," said Trail.
:"Guys like Clay, you can't replace them with the same type of guy. High character individual, obviously a good athlete. All you can do is replace them with the next man up, and they have to make that position their own."
At the tight end spot, Carroll does return Max Bullinger, now a senior after posting 542 yards and six scores his junior year. They also bring back quarterback Aiden Niedens, a now junior quarterback that comes in with plenty of starting experience after stepping in for an injured Cade Becker in 2018.
"I've already seen lots of growth and progress over the summer," said Trail of his signal caller, "it's given him lots of confidence, so he's gonna be a confident young man coming in this year--and it's already shown throughout the summer."
But Niedens doesn't see the starting job as a guarantee, with the team returning John Honas from injury at the spot.
"I still gotta do my job," said Niedens, "I just gotta go out there and work hard. I got confidence in John if he starts, he's got confidence in me if I start."
On defense, even fewer starters return--four. Justin Powell and Dalton Nichols lead the way in the secondary, with Powell coming off a year that saw him named first team all-GWAL. With such a small group of returners, Powell will be one looked at to take a leadership role in the secondary.
"We're all out leading out there, especially seniors, so we all should be leaders. Especially with Dalton Nichols there, another senior, so we're confident that we'll be ready," said Powell.
The team also returns both starting defensive ends, with all-league performer Phoenix Smith returning alongside Joseph Korte. The linebacker spot will be the biggest question mark entering the year, but that next man up mentality has the defense feeling confident.
"We have a couple juniors that are gonna take some starting spots, and we have a lot of seniors that are coming in--linebackers, we don't have any returning linebackers but we're gonna have a lot of seniors at that spot too so we've [been prepared] for this."
The Golden Eagles open up their year September 6th with a road trip to Wichita Northwest, with kickoff set for 7:00 pm.
2019 BISHOP CARROLL SCHEDULE
9/6 - @ Wichita Northwest
9/13 - vs. Wichita Heights
9/20 - vs Wichita West
9/27 - @ Derby
10/4 - vs Great Bend
10/11 - vs Kapaun Mt. Carmel
10/17 - @ Wichita North
10/25 - @ Wichita South