MADISON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — It's no secret the Madison County Cowboys have a target on their backs. They've won three straight Class 1A State titles going 50 and four in the time frame, and that only motivates them further.
At Madison County winning is just what they do.
"We all come out," said Greg Mitchell. "We all grind, bust our tails."
"We don't expect anything less," RJ Williams said. "We expect to win every week. Come out and work hard."
The proof is easy to find. The Cowboys are the team to beat.
"Whether we won three straight titles or not, the tradition here is really, really good and I think that's what drives these guys to show up on summer mornings and work out and get after it, but it definitely doesn't hurt," said Mike Coe.
Showing up so they can show out, the Cowboys will fight for their fourth straight title, if they have a season.
But for Madison County, being a Cowboy is about a whole lot more than football.
"To everyone, it might not seem as important but to us, it's a huge big deal," Mitchell said. "It's not just a game to us, it's a family thing. This team, it's a family."
"The lessons that always come back in my head come from my high school football coaches," said Coe. "The discipline they instilled the work ethic, the teamwork. Everything to be successful in life, I learned from them."
Which is why they're fighting so hard to play.
"What people don't know is we come out here early mornings and work very hard as brothers," Williams said. "People don't see that part. They just come out here and see the game part."
"They're going to find something to do," said Coe. "You can rest assured they'll find someone to be with, find people to hang out with, they're going to find something to do. I'd much rather them be with adults that love and care about them then out and about."
They're fighting for their family, for a shot to reach the top one more time.
"I'm just ready to get back out there," Williams said. "Play with my friends and my brothers. I just hope that one day everybody will come together, listen, and unite as one so we can all get back to normal."
Their normal is the Cowboys lifting a trophy in December.
The Florida High School Athletic Association decides Friday morning what direction they plan to take with fall athletics, meeting at 10 a.m. in Gainesville.
The question of whether college football will be played this fall grows as another conference has postponed fall sports.
The Mountain West is the second FBS conference to postpone football and other fall sports, joining the Mid-American Conference.
None of the five major conferences has chosen to postpone fall sports just yet. ESPN is reporting that the Pac-12 CEO group will meet Tuesday to discuss how they plan to proceed with fall sports.