AUSTIN (KXAN) — For a program with the success Lake Travis has had over the years, a 7-5 season in 2022 isn’t exactly something to be happy about. The Cavaliers are looking to rectify that and go deep in the postseason once again, where they feel like they belong.

The Cavaliers kicked off training camp Monday, and senior running back Nico Hamilton said this year will be better than last year’s third-place district finish.

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“I think we’ll be a lot better than last year,” he said. “I think we’ll beat a lot of the teams we should have beaten last year, for sure. We have the firepower to do it.”

Hamilton rushed for 1,278 yards last year and 12 touchdowns and has multiple scholarship offers, mostly from Ivy League schools and both Air Force and Naval academies. He said something missing from last year’s team was solid senior leadership, and he went out on the first day to change that.

“I’m trying to bring the energy, get guys going, stuff like that,” he said. “We’re trying to get the season started the right way.”

Cavaliers head coach Hank Carter said more than 350 kids came out for the first day of practice, and while that made things a little hectic, he’s happy the season is finally here and the team can get to work and leave the past behind.

“It’s about how can us, as a coaching staff, use these kids in ways to get the most potential out of them and put together the best football team,” Carter said. “We’ve got a lot of kids vying to show us what they can do.”

Returning on offense along with Hamilton is quarterback Kadyn Leon. He was thrust into the starting role as a junior while a herniated disc kept Bo Edmundson on the sideline for essentially the entire season. Leon, a two-sport star for the Cavaliers with a 90 mph fastball, threw for 22 touchdowns and one interception last season. He’s hoping he can play both football and baseball in college, so he’s very focused on getting the Cavs where they want to be on the gridiron.

“We brought together the team as a whole so we could build friendships,” Leon said. “We used summer workouts to improve our team bonding.”

The Cavs have a pair of tough opponents in their non-district games, but both games are at home. The squad takes on Arlington Martin at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 25 and welcomes Cibolo Steele the following week before District 6A-26 play begins.