DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — It was the first year in Class 6A for the Dripping Springs Tigers last season, and what an introduction it was. They kicked down the door to finish second in District 6A-26 and advanced to the 6A-D2 Region IV championship game, finishing the season 12-2.

It’s a standard and an expectation now that Dripping Springs will compete for a 6A playoff spot every year like they did while in 5A, and head coach Galen Zimmerman said it’s all about looking ahead.

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“You don’t get any points for last year,” he said. “We talk to our kids every year about what has been built before them and what kind of legacy they want to leave.”

Despite graduating Austin Novosad, one of the top quarterbacks in Texas last season who now plays for the Oregon Ducks, and other key players from last year’s terrific squad, Zimmerman said he loves this year’s team already.

“We’ve got a good group of kids with a great attitude to come compete at practice and go 1-0 every day,” Zimmerman said. “You can get a lot done when you start with an attitude like that along with a work ethic.”

Last season began with a heart-pounding victory over the Vandegifrt Vipers on a field goal as time expired, and then it ended at the hands of the Vipers in the Region IV championship game. The two schools are getting awfully acquainted with each other as they’ll open the season against each other again, this time in Dripping Springs.

Senior linebacker Luca Picucci has had his eye on the season opener for a while now, and he thinks it’s going to be another classic battle.

“It’s going to mean a lot, there’s a lot of price going into that one,” he said. “It’s a non-district game for both teams, but that’s a game that will stick around.”

Picucci said last year’s team “set the standard,” and now the goal is to surpass it.

“Everyone’s talking about how we lost all these people from last year, but we still have the same mentality,” he said. “We’re going to keep going at it every week.”