The Zeeland West Dux football team have been state champs three times since the program was created nine years ago, including 2013. Now they're starting the 2014 season under extra attention and extra pressure.
Varsity head coach John Shillito is going in with a calm, positive mindset because he knows this is a different year and a different season.
"Our goals don't change much. Develop into the best team with the best kids and work day-to-day at getting better."
The Zeeland West Dux football program has only been around for nine years and, each year Shillito has been instrumental in their success.
Shillito attributes the program's success to three factors, "One, great kids in Zeeland and the parents who support them. Two, a great administration. And, three, the coaching staff that surrounds me. The group we have has done a terrific job and has stayed together over the years."
Zeeland West graduated a few great leaders last year, including student-athletes Jordan VanDort and Grand Postma.
Shillito says their attitudes and successful approach to the game have been passed down to younger players.
"Having a successful program means coming back every year, working hard, and doing well no matter what players we have."
Zeeland West will play their first game at home against Detroit Country Day on Thursday, August 28th.