KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WATE-TV) – 2019 was the last time Austin East had more than a three-win season. However, the Roadrunners have reason to believe this fall will turn out a little different.

The will to win is there. The motivation that lies within the Austin-East players comes from an inner realization that they have something this season, which has driven their effort to another level.

“We’re starting to become more mature as a team,” said senior Tylan Baker. “Not as far as just going out there to play but we’re going out there playing for a purpose which I feel like we’ve been lacking these past years.”

Baker added that the will to win has led to a will to play, whether at practice or on their own time.

“I can see a lot of improvement as far as more people coming to practice, more people putting in extra work outside of practice time,” said Baker. “It’s more about the things you do when nobody is looking at you so for the kids that are going out, putting work in on the field, on their own time you know, working at home, working out on their own time, I can see that.”

Austin East kicks off the season against William Blount on Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.