BISMARCK, N.D. - If winning was not so much fun, then sports wouldn't be as big of a deal as it is.
The Century Patriots have won back to back Class-AAA championships and they're hoping to finished this season in that same fun fashion.
In 2015, Century won the first football championship in school history. Last year, the Patriots did it again.
"the tempo of the practices are more spirited and you only have to remind them a couple of times about what happened in the last couple of years and I think certainly the seniors understand the importance of every snap that they get in practice," said Ron Wingenbach, Century head coach.
Levi Rockey, Century senior LB-G said, "For us seniors it drive us to try and follow what we did last year and some of us who started last year are just wanting to make it ours."
Century has over 30 seniors, but only three on each side of the ball are returning starters.
Wingenbach said, "But, a lot of them have seen extensive action whether it be late in varsity games or certainly a lot of junior varsity reps."
One place Wingenbach does not have to worry about is quarterback. Jakob Olson returns to run the offense.
"To have that experience to sit behind Dalton for a year and to take in everything that he taught me and to bring that to the field last year and then now that adds to the resume and hopefully I can just build on top of that," said Jakob Olson, Century senior QB.
Wingenbach said, "He's a young man that likes to watch film and study and we expect very good things from him."
Olson expects the same from guys he's going to be throwing to.
"Kade Lynch, Jake Zittleman, Oakley Martin, Oliver Nelson, we've been throwing together all summer and we have some really good chemistry," said Olson.
The offensive line is a place the Patriots hope to build chemistry and some depth.
Wingenbach said: "That's going to be an area where we were probably hit hardest by graduation. We have to rely on some guys who are going to be new to the position."
Century will have a running back by committee approach, with Kade Rouser and Darnell Smith probably leading the group. On defense,
"Kind of like baseball you need to be strong up the middle. I like our linebacking crew. I think we have four to six names that can cover three to four positions," said Wingenbach.
So, defining some starting spots and refining depth will be the key the first couple of weeks.
"It's important that early on we play a lot of bodies in the non-conference schedule just to get a feel to where we're at with everybody and then when we hit the regional schedule with Mandan we have to be ready to go," said Wingenbach.
First up for Century is a trip to West Fargo on Friday to play the Sheyenne Mustangs.