The Huntingdon football program has been a District 6 power for many years, winning six District 6 Class AAA titles, including three from 2001 to 2005.
So, when the Bearcats struggled to a 3-7 record in 2007 - their first losing season in 12 years - the players felt the heat on the field and off the field.
"It was impossible to handle," senior Jared Donelson said. "Everybody got on our case about the losing season. We heard about it all the time during school. It's just hard to handle people not believing in us, but we'll have to show them this year that it was a rebuilding year, and this year will be better.
"Last year was an embarrassment. Sometimes people wouldn't show up to the game ready to play. We had a lot of goofing off in practice. That's not going to happen this year. I'm not going to go out my senior season anywhere near 3-7. Anything less than a winning season is not going to be acceptable."
"Oh yeah," senior Jason Pierotti said, "[we heard it from] kids from school, fans, everyone. It wasn't fun. I'm not going to go through that this year. It was frustrating, game after game. None of us were used to that."
While last year was a change in terms of wins and losses, this year brings more change to the Bearcats.
They've dropped to the heavily populated Class AA, and their move from the Mountain Athletic Conference Seven Mountains Division to the Nittany Division has forced Hollidaysburg, Bellefonte and Central Mountain to be dropped from the schedule.
"We've been a Double-A school for four years," Huntingdon coach Jim Zauzig said, "but it's that Huntingdon pride that kept us at Triple-A. If you examine the big picture, we're better off where we should be - at Double-A.
"There's not many teams at the Triple-A level, but at the Double-A level, you're going to be challenged for three straight weekends [in the playoffs]."
"Once we get to the playoffs, it's going to be tougher," Pierotti said, "because we're going to see Tyrone. Tyrone's always tough. Other than that, the [regular-season] schedule might get a little easier."
Donelson's goal is to win a district title this season, which would be quite a feat after going through last year's problems. The losing record, he says, has motivated the team in offseason preparations.
"If I don't see everybody leaving it out on the field, they're going to hear about it," Donelson said.