Coming off a 4-6 season, junior Christian Lautenschleger believes it's imperative that the Grove City Christian football team gets out to a good start.
The Eagles, who opened against Middletown Christian on Aug. 31, play host to New Philadelphia Tuscarawas Central Catholic on Friday, Sept. 6.
"As a young team, we can form a new attitude for the school year," said Lautenschleger, a running back and linebacker. "I know for the past couple of years it's been a losing attitude and losing was acceptable. We want to change that this year and next year while I'm here. We want to win and we always want that 100 percent effort no matter what every single play."
The Eagles are looking to avenge a 14-6 loss to the Saints last season in the first meeting between the teams.
The teams have one common opponent this season in Fisher Catholic. Grove City Christian plays its MSL-Cardinal Division rival Sept. 27, and Tuscarawas Central Catholic opened against the Irish on Aug. 31.
The Eagles compete in Division VII, Region 27 and the Saints play in Division VII, Region 25. The Saints qualified for the Region 25 playoffs last season, losing to Cuyahoga Heights 42-13 in the first round to finish 5-6.
Coach Hank Patterson expected senior Koby Brunney and sophomore Jayden Hanks to both see time at quarterback against Middletown Christian.
For the Saints, senior quarterback Alex Price passed for 1,761 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Junior running back Ryan Dick rushed for 592 yards and eight touchdowns.
Last season at Tuscarawas Central Catholic, Lautenschleger rushed for 79 yards on 19 carries.
"I remember a lot of down faces," he said. "I really think we should have won that game. It was disappointing that we didn't win that game. I feel we weren't prepared as players."