WHITEHOUSE, Texas (KETK/FOX 51) — Last season, in Kyle Westerberg’s first game as Whitehouse head coach, the Wildcats jumped out to a 20-0 lead over Forney.

However, they would end up losing that game 21-20, beginning a season in which they would finish the year with a 2-8 record.

“It was definitely a humbling experience when you get put in charge to run a program you think you know it all until you get put into a situation like this,” said Westerberg.

The process to make sure this does not happen again started right after their final game of 2021, forging a bond, and seeing leaders rise up in the locker room.

“Staying together as a team continues to work hard really put that in the past and focus on the future,” said linebacker and running back Hayden Ross.

“I try to make sure everybody understands to go 2-8, and if you want a winning season, you’ve got to come together and play as a team,” said cornerback and wide receiver Jermond McCoy.

“I told them when we got done, it was time to roll our sleeves up and go to work,” said Westerberg. “The sour taste of going 2-8, they had it in their mouth.”

The Cats will once again be a young football team, but for coach Westerberg, he’s not only seen a difference in the way his players have worked but how they are working well together.

“This coming season compared to what it was last year is these guys like each other they enjoy being around each other,” said Westerberg. “The bond in the locker room is a lot better, and I think everybody is on the same page.”

Whitehouse stumbled in 2021, but it’s a new day and a new opportunity, for coach Westerberg and his Wildcats in 2022.