Football is planning to start as scheduled for 1A through 4A schools and the Lampasas Badgers are getting ready to kick off their season.

Last season, the Badgers went deep into the playoffs, but fell to Carthage in the semifinals. It was their best season yet and their expectations to compete at the highest level possible have not changed this season.

“Our expectations are to go compete at a high level every week.  We focus on ourselves,” Lampasas head coach Troy Rogers said. “If we are playing football at the level and standard we expect, we will be able to compete with anyone. When you get caught worrying about the opponent or the future, you can get distracted and beat in a hurry.”

Though they are coming off of a very successful season, Rogers is approaching this one with a fresh set of eyes.

“Every year is a new year. The team is different than last year,” Rogers stated. “We learned that the sooner you come together as a team, family, the better off you are.  We have a long way to go from being that team, but we are working on it every day.”  

Though they did lose a few players, one of their strongest assets are strong returning players like junior linebacker Case Brister, senior running back Jack Jerome, and Dave Campbell’s preseason offensive player of the year for class 4A, senior quarterback Ace Whitehead.

Despite their season starting as planned, COVID-19 has not gone by without affecting the Badgers.

“The pandemic has kept us from working and competing together for almost five months, until last Monday (Aug. 10),” Rogers said. “Summer conditioning was good, but you don’t have 100% participation.  The fundamentals of throwing and catching and covering guys was taken from us with the elimination of seven-on-seven.  You take for granted how much growth is done with things like seven-on-seven. We are excited to be back at it, so we are just going to strive to get better every day. One day and one play at a time.”

Rogers feels their biggest challenge is coming together as a team quick enough before the start of their season.

“We will find out soon where we are as a team after our non-district schedule. Team chemistry and the bond you form with your teammates is vital to success, we just have to make up for some lost time together,” Rogers stated.

COVID-19 has made many people reflect and begin to value the time the get to do the things they love more. Though he believes he and the Badgers have always been grateful for their time on the field, this season gives it deeper meaning.

“I truly believe we have always cherished our time on the field together, but our thought process this year is to embrace the adversity, have faith in the future and be thankful every day we our together,” Rogers said. “Those words have been said before, but they take a serious meaning this year, you just never know when it will be taken away.”  

The Badger’s first game will be played on Aug. 28 when they face the Brownwood Lions.