WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Coastal Christian boys' soccer team is familiar with the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.
Last season, the Centurions played for a state championship, but fell by a golden goal.
Instead of feeling sorry for themselves in the offseason, the team went to work.
"It was really our players," head coach Mike Scheffel said. "They were quick to come in after the season and make their expectations known. "
Those expectations haven't changed since bringing home the runner-up trophy.
"It's still the same goal that we have had for the past five years," sophomore Jackson Snyder said. "Just to win a state championship. And it's set expectations for every new player that comes on and work to achieve that goal."
"As soon as you get to a point, you don't drop the standard from there at all," senior Matt Ward said about this season. "You just continue to work and continue to put the effort toward that."
Coastal returns a handful of core players, but the team had to replace six key starters. Some of those positions have been filled with players who have no varsity experience.
"Hard work proves everything," Ward said. "And that's our standard, and we are going to continue to strive for that. We aren't going to change our expectations. Our goal is to get back to the state championship and win it. We know what it takes to get there. It's just that next step to win it."
No question the team knows how to win, but it also knows there will be bumps in the road as the season goes on.
"We have the idea of family," Snyder said. "So if you make a mistake, everyone understands, it's just, next play. And there is no stress to it."
There is also no stress about losing regular season games.
"It's all about learning now, and going through the process," Ward said, "so when it comes to the playoffs and we get back to that state championship, we are ready."