Woodsboro first-year head coach, Wade Miller, speaks to his players during practice on Monday. The Eagles are currently 2-0 for the first time since 1992 and have a chance to go 3-0 for the first time since 1985.
WOODSBORO - Wade Miller's interest was piqued when he heard Woodsboro was looking for an athletic director and head football coach.
But he wanted to get a closer look before submitting an application.
"My wife and I drove over here and drove around the community and looked at the facilities here at the school," Miller said. "It just seemed like the potential here was unbelievable."
Miller, who was the offensive coordinator at Flour Bluff, decided to apply and became a head coach for the first time last spring.
"The No. 1 thing in Class 1A is numbers," he said. "We have a lot of kids out for football and I was lucky enough to get hired in March and I was able to work with a bunch of them and get them excited and get them out."
The excitement has only intensified. Woodsboro has started the season with wins over Bloomington and Leakey to go 2-0 for the first time since 1992.
"We have a good schedule," Miller said. "A schedule where we can compete with the teams we play. The kids have done everything I've asked them."
Miller installed a new offense and defense. The Eagles went from a slot-T to a spread and shotgun-I on offense. They switched from a three- to a four-man front on defense.
Miller admits the first week of practice often looked like a fire drill, but the Eagles have made steady improvement.
"The first week was a completely different thing," said senior offensive and defensive tackle Joshua Martinez. "We were like, 'Wow.' But by the time of the first two scrimmages, we had minimal mistakes."
"It was a bit of a change," agreed senior fullback/linebacker Dillon Starr. "But we picked it up pretty fast."
Woodsboro opened the season with a 44-0 win over Bloomington before traveling to Charlotte for a Thursday night game against Leakey.
The Eagles fell behind Leakey 12-0, but rallied for a 41-34 win.
"We kind of got down, but then we got up and fought back," Starr said. "We have some great players and we have a lot of heart. They don't like giving up."
"It's just the grit of this team," Martinez added. "We could be down 40-0 in the fourth quarter and we think we could come back and win it."
Miller knows the Eagles are still a work in progress and must learn to deal with success.
Woodsboro started last season at 0-6 and scored a total of six points in those games.
"I remind them every day what their record was at this time last year and how many points they scored at this time last year," Miller said. "If they don't keep working hard, they are going to go back to the same thing."
Woodsboro has not been without success in the past.
The Eagles have advanced to the playoffs five times since dropping from Class 2A to 1A in 2002.
But they have not won a postseason game during that span and their accomplishments have paled in comparison to their Refugio County neighbors to the north.
"I don't know if it's a shadow," Miller said. "I think they want to be good like Refugio is. I've told them the only way you're going to be good is to work hard."
Woodsboro could take another step in the right direction when it travels to Javelina Stadium in Kingsville on Friday to play Santa Gertrudis Academy.
The Eagles have a chance to go 3-0 for the first time since 1985.
"I think it's going to be different this year," Starr said. "Everybody's hyped up and ready for the season. There were pep rallies before nobody was as enthusiastic. Everybody's a lot more excited."
Tim Finn got his first win as the head coach at Wharton as the Tigers pummeled Houston Scarborough 70-8.
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Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.