Change came to both the Denton-Geyser-Stanford and Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap football teams this season. The former six-man powers will make the jump to eight-man. However, the Bearcats and Titans want to make sure one thing doesn't change: winning.
"A lot of teams don't know what's coming," Bearcats junior defensive end Keaton Protsman said. "We're going to hit them hard. I think they don't expect a lot from us but they better."
That pretty much answered whether or not the DGS players have doubts about their jump in classification. It's been a smooth transition as first year head coach Matt Neumann has kept things pretty simple.
"Football's football to me," he said. "There's still blocking and tackling at every level. Like they did in six-man we just want to win here in eight-man, too."
There have been some challenges. Quarterback Kordell Carpenter said he's been tested both mentally and physically.
"In six-man the quarterback can't run, but in eight-man you can," he said. "I need to work on my running game and learning some moves."
One thing the Bearcats have going for them is they know how to win. They won the state title last season under head coach Scott Sparks. This year, with Neumann leading the way, expectations remain the same regardless of classification.
"We're already on the same page. He wants to win, and I want to win," Protsman said.
About 20 minutes down the road in Hobson, another team upped its game to the eight-man level, too.
Unlike DGS, the Tri City Titans have a familiar face on the sideline, and head coach Jake Stevenson plans to have his team ready.
"We stand a chance to be able to compete in eight-man as long as we convert our competitive attitude," he said.
His players feel ready to take on all comers, after they honed their game at camps this summer.
"We ran constant plays over and over again to get it in my head and I'm comfortable with it," said senior quarterback Hayden Heilig.
The Titans also have a mean streak. They want revenge on DGS after the Bearcats steamrolled them 58-16 in last year's playoffs.
"We plan on beating DGS," junior lineman Tim Horan said. "We can match them physically but we just need to get on a level where we play as a team."
"They're definitely cocky right now. I guarantee we've been working a lot harder than them this summer so we're ready," Heilig added. "I wish that was the first game, [so we can] just take them out."
That playoff rematch is scheduled for October 22.