Last year the Beulah Miners football team notched a 6 and 3 record in the regular season-- their season coming to a halt after running into Wahpeton in their first playoff game-- this year the team will be looking to plenty of young returning players to take them into the postseason.
"It was 2 years ago the Beulah Miners lost a huge number of senior starters.
So, it was a big surprise to the community, when the team made it to the playoffs last season.
"I mean last year was an eye opener because we were picked to be dead last, but we realized after last year we weren't as bad as people thought, and we turned out to be better than expectations so, we have little more confidence coming into this year."
After surviving last year with just 5 seniors and 6 juniors, It's easy to say this year's team is still full of youth, but they are no stranger to the varsity competition.
"We're still young but we're pretty experienced, because a lot of those guys, who were sophomores last year started, at least on one side of the ball, so we have a lot back."
Offensive Lineman Isaac Ripplinger says experience equals higher expectations
"Since we have more experience last year, kind of had excuses like that, and now the sky's the limit, since we have a year underneath our belt."
Junior quarterback Casey Walker knows exactly what his team needs to do to reach their full potential.
"Focus and staying together, last year we even surprised ourselves, we had a bunch of guys who were excited to get there but then when it actually came time for the big game it seemed like our brains went to mush. So, it's going to be a lot of making sure we maintain focus and staying hard in practice. Any team can have the athleticism and greatness to make it, but it's the ones who can execute and stay focused that turn out to be great."
Maintaining focus comes with maturity--exactly what coach Dooley feels is going to get them to the next level.
"In our case, in some ways, it's just get a year older and stronger, we knew we were going to have a young team but we wanted to keep the expectation level up there and I think with last years year we were able to do that, to where these guys have some high expectations for this year, and looking towards going on, and it certainly helps we have some guys who played in a playoff game last year."
Dooley also says in order to be successful, he will need the juniors to step up as leaders.