The UIL 3A-Division I defending district champion London Pirates carry over a wave of momentum after winning their baseball program's first state championship.
"Just, it motivates me everyday after winning state," said Mason Arispe, London senior running back and linebacker. "Just the feeling after makes me want to work hard in football, too."
London football has consistently found smooth sailing to the second round of playoffs, but the Pirates want more.
"I think the vibe this year is history. I think everyone wants to go to round three," said Jett Christmas, London senior 6-foot-4 wide receiver and safety. "We didn't get that last year against Lago Vista, but I think we can get it this year."
London's new opponents in District 15 3A-DI, Edna, Mathis, Industrial, Palacios, Goliad and Aransas Pass, will prepare the Pirates.
"That schedule just itself I feel is going to get us playoff ready," said Robbie Moreno, London football head coach. "If we can get through that district, maybe we can get passed that second and third round."
The London Pirates have 21 seniors this year. This is the largest class in program history.
"This group just has a special connection," said Arispe. "We've been together since middle school and just, we've all been friends. It helps us a lot."
London's offense led by quarterback Ace Navarijo is challenged every day by the defense that only lost one game last season.
"I think we got a lot of hard hitters personally, and then our secondary we're looking good," Christmas said. "We got a lot of our secondary back from last year and our D-line a bunch of the guys are new, but I think they are going to be good, too."
The Pirates are not afraid of a test and that's why they scheduled a non-district game against Refugio.
"With past teams I was hesitant, but these guys wanted it so I mean they got it," Moreno said. "We'll find out week two where we're at quickly."
The Pirates kickoff their season on the road at St. John Paul II on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.