MADILL — After a jump from Class 3A to 4A last season, the Madill Wildcats had a rough transition period figuring out their new opponents.

MADILL — After a jump from Class 3A to 4A last season, the Madill Wildcats had a rough transition period figuring out their new opponents.

Head coach Todd Vargas enters his second year at the helm for the Wildcats, and hopes to build off last years 4-6 record.

“We built a foundation last year, we returned a lot of guys,” Vargas said. 

“We came in first year installing a new offense and now being a year into you can see it the level of knowledge and understanding the kids and coaches both have that is going to make us more effective.”

The Wildcats will have eight returning starters on offense and seven returning on defense.

Experience will be in the Wildcats favor, as they only lost eight seniors from last years team. 

This years team will have 19 seniors to help continue the growth of the program.

“We have a big senior class, a really big senior class,” Vargas said. 

“There are seniors that can play, but they are also great leaders, great students, great athletes and great young men. We have really quality leadership in the locker room. The kids give great effort, the Madill kids just give extremely great effort and we are excited about it.”

Last season the Wildcats were moved into District 4A-2, and had to face the state champion Tuttle Tigers and state runner up Bethany Bronchos in their district.

Now returning with their senior class, and the experience of now having faced these teams before, Vargas knows what to expect from his opponents in the district.

“We are way stronger than we were last year, these kids workout four days a week 12 months a year, we don’t take off,” he said. 

“Strong athletes are the best athletes, we have seen an incredible amount of strength and muscle mass gained. That in itself is going to help us out so much. There is no doubt 4A is a good class, and we are not quite the numbers we need to be overall, but we are getting there. we are up 14 players from last year 9th through 12th so we are growing.”

After a long break from football, returning to the field for the Wildcats is a step in the right direction. 

Vargas said the team is working on technique and details during this two week stretch, and will work on installing plays on offense during the summer.

On offense, Vargas is intrigued by what the competition will bring in replacing four of the five starters on the offensive line. 

On defense, Vargas said the defensive line is solid, and hopes to fins interior defensive lineman step up to help the team be successful.

With spring ball over, and the team heading to Newcastle next week for summer camp, Vargas is hoping experiences learned from last year will help his team be more successful this fall.

“I think this biggest thing we had to change besides being physical and strength was our culture,” Vargas said. “The kids learning who I am and me learning who they are, I think I’ve changed more as a coach this past year than I have in my career.”

“I came into a different situation into a different community, with different needs and students that were used to different things,” Vargas added. 

“When I first got into coaching I was very loud and brash and excited. I can still have those moments, I just care about the kids and that is one thing on this coaching staff that I am really blessed with that we got men on this staff that want to win and want to succeed, but really what we want is we want the kids to succeed.”