In the shadows of a football stadium being rebuilt after a tornado destroyed much of it just months ago the South Shelby football team is taking nothing for granted heading into the 2017 season.
"We talk about what you have today could be gone at any time. These seniors know this is their last year," said head coach Rob Wilt.
After all, why should the Cardinals take anything for granted? They return 10 seniors from a team that won six games a year ago.
"A lot of experience will help with us," said senior lineman and linebacker Luke Farrell.
"We've all played with each other since the third grade starting in CYFL football. We know how we're going to react with each other and how to play together."
As if the Cardinals needed more motiviation heading into the 2017 season, watching a conference rival march all the way to the state championship game has South Shelby ready to turn the heat up in what is sure to be a tight division race.
We played Monroe City twice last year and both games were real close," said WIlt.
"That district game a was a six point game and it could've gone either way. We feel like if we can take another step then we'll be right there with them."
"We were pretty upset after both games and we just want to play them again in districts," said Farrell.
What the Cardinals lack in size, however, they more than make up for in speed both in the backfield and in the trenches.
"It's a lot of fun and I think it's going to be exciting. Some plays we might not gain a lot of yard but then break it away for 80 (yards)," said junior running back and receiver Brock Wood.
"We don't have a lot of size up front like we have had in the past," said Wilt.
"What we do have on the offensive line is some good athletes and I think that's more important than anything as far as an offensive line goes. "
The key for South Shelby will be using that speed to try and catch up to the top teams in the district and conference.