BISHOP, Texas — The 2020 season was supposed to end with the Bishop Badgers bringing a state title back to the town.
"That roster had 12 seniors on it," said head coach Mike Medina. "Our goal was to get to the Final Four, win our semifinal game and play for a state championship."
COVID-19 shattered the dream.
"Some things that happen are just unexplainable and there's no fix to it," said Medina.
The Badgers take the field in 2021 for the first time in close to 11 months. The expectations are high as the team starts the season ranked as the sixth-best team in Class 3A.
The driving force behind the team this year: the 2020 senior class.
"Those seniors are my (inspiration)," said junior Tye Odom. "I'm doing this because I just wish they would've had that shot."
The season has only just begun, but players and coaches are trying to make the state remember that Bishop is a team to beat and a title contender.
"They should be expecting to see us deep in the playoffs," said junior Ruben Rendon.
Medina is confident in his roster, which also has high expectations for itself. And, of course, so do the fans.
"This team chemistry we have is something special," he said. "I had some community members tell me 'Hey coach, best of luck this year. The playoffs start in the fourth round.' "
The players aren't backing down from the challenge.
"We're dangerous," said Odom. "We're very dangerous."