Shawnee Heights finished the 2012 season at .500 and earned another trip to the playoffs.
The T-Birds lost many senior leaders but they plan to make up for it with talented players.
"What I've liked is that we've come out and we've been intense," Shawnee Heights head coach Jason Swift said. "We try to push each other and get better. A lot of great leadership with our seniors trying to teach the younger guys on what to do and the expectations. The younger guys have come out ready to go. I'm really pleased on how we started the season."
The T-Birds hosted a home playoff game against Blue Valley but lost against the Tigers.
"We haven't the best record in the last couple of years but everybody knows that we fight hard and we play hard," Shawnee Heights senior fullback/linebacker Travis Eklund said. "We go to the whistle blows."
Shawnee Heights opens the season at Emporia on Friday night.
"It's kind of a competition between all of us," Shawnee Heights senior tight end/linebacker Dayton Pomeroy said. "If we push each other to get better we get a whole lot better instead of coming to practice just to get through it."