In 2011, the New Prairie football team was just 3-7.
Then Russ Radtke came in and everything changed.
"No disrespect on any past coaches but he's just done a fantastic job coming in here," senior linebacker Dan Cinal says of Radtke. "It's a whole new respect and his coaching level is ridiculous."
Radtke immediately flipped New Prairie from a 3-7 team to a 9-2 team in 2012. Then came last year. The Cougars rolled to the Northern State Conference Championship, an undefeated regular season, a sectional championship and suffered their only loss of the year in overtime in regionals.
In two years with Radtke as its head coach, New Prairie is 21-3.
"Kind of amazing what you are able to do in two years--I didn't think it could be done," Radtke admits. "We have a bunch of kids that are willing to put out that little extra and little bit of wanting the knowledge of the game."
Radtke says New Prairie returns about seven players on each of the ball that contributed in 2013. He says the number of players he'll be able to play each week won't be as high as a season ago but that the team still has a very good chance of doing something special.
"Is there a chance to be undefeated? We'll see," Radtke says. "We're really looking forward to the aspirations of having a great season by the time we get into the tournament run."
New Prairie opens the season hosting Arch Rival LaPorte on August 22nd.