HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) – There was a lot of excitement for Hutto last year in a new district with a lot of talent on the roster. However, the Hippos didn’t make the playoffs with a 5-5 record.

An added hurdle last year was Hutto head coach Will Compton and his staff not getting started until the summer ahead of their first year. Now with a full offseason, Compton and the team can feel the improvement.

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“It just makes a big difference in the continuity of your program,” said Compton. “It’s been great for us overall.”

“Just putting in the discipline,” said Hutto senior wide receiver Carson LaPlante about what the team can do with more time together. “Just trying to be more together, not necessarily individuals…I think we have a good chance of a district title this year.”

The Hippos are led by senior quarterback Will Hammond. The Texas Tech commit knows that improved chemistry has instilled a belief in the program.

“We’ve got a ton of confidence and all that comes from our preparation this offseason,” said Hammond. “All of these lifts we’ve put in. All of the times we’ve come out here on the field and thrown. All summer. All spring. All winter.”

Hutto was in a number of their games last season but couldn’t close them out. That has been a focus in the offseason for the Hippos.

“We just had some mental breakdowns in some games,” said Compton. “I think we could have done better late in some of those games whether that be moving the ball on offense or giving up some big plays on third and long situations.”

Hutto opens its season against San Marcos at home Aug. 25.