KAHOKA, MO. (WGEM) -- It was mid-September when Clark County had come to a crossroads following a homecoming loss to Palmyra, resulting in a 1-4 start to the season.
"We had guys that next week in practice (saying), 'This is not the season we want to have. Not again. We're not doing it again.' The approach in practice became different," head coach Ethan Allen said.
"It's kind of hard when you're young to see the difference and guys really felt the difference, and said, 'Yeah, this is right. What we're doing now is different.'"
Two months, and eight consecutive wins later, the Indians found themselves in the Final Four only one year removed from finishing 2-8.
"We had an extremely smart group of guys," Allen added.
"It was fun. Even in stressful times in games guys coming to the sideline high-fiving and it was exciting to be a part of it."
Steering the ship was Allen, a proud alum and former state champion quarterback.
Allen's leadership helped lift Clark County out of an early season funk to the Class 2 semifinals.
"The work that we put in last off-season is the reason we got to where we were at. It wasn't X's and O's. It wasn't anything like that. I firmly believe, and we talk about it everyday, great attitude and effort is a must," Allen said.
"I thought our guys definitely came every day to work with a great attitude (and) great effort. They gave it their all every day."
The end result was Allen being named The People's Choice for WGEM Coach of the Year.
"There was a ton of good candidates," Allen indicated.
"To have my name on that list was exciting. To be able to get (the award) was huge."