KILGORE, Texas (KETK) — The Kilgore College Rangers are once again headed to the national tournament and players say it’s an honor to represent Kilgore.

“I’m more than excited it’s actually an honor to be able to go two years in a row,” tells sophomore guard Dantwan Grimes. “Last year we didn’t get the job done but this year we plan to take it home and bring it back.

“I was kind of a part of the team last year just being around but getting to go back this year as a player, I mean it’s crazy,” adds freshman guard Isaac Hoberecht.

The Rangers are ranked 3rd in the country and looking like a contender, Coach Brian Hoberecht credits the leadership of the returns to their success.

“They’re such a hungry, competitive group of guys that love to be in the gym and play and compete and get better,” says Head coach Brian Hoberecht. “They’ve made setting the expectations very easy because they want to live up to them and they want to exceed them and want to keep building off those things.

Kilgore College feels they’re battle-tested and ready for nationals, after facing some tough competition.

“I think we’ve come in every game just prepared for war and I think that’s kind of put us over the top on the teams we played so far because we’ve been prepared and being prepared is have the battle,” says Isaac Hoberecht.

“The number one key is playing together and having each other’s back every game, every practice, and just working hard and not taking no games for granted.

On Thursday, coach Hoberect held back tears as he was thanking the Kilgore college fans.

“We appreciate it very much, these guys feel it every day and I do too so thank you!

For the Hobererect family, this year’s run is even more special because they get to do it together.

 “It’s been great, I really couldn’t ask for anything better, you know whenever you talk about family, you think head coach my dad, brother on the team but all 12 guys on the team have become family at this point,” declares assistant coach Brendon Hoberecht.

“It’s been amazing no doubt, we’ve had our ups and downs most certainly our ups and downs but it’s been awesome, it’s my dad and my brother, it’s family, blood, it’s awesome,” smiles Isaac Hoberecht.

“It’s always a neat part of the journey whenever you got family along with you,” exclaims Coach Hoberecht.

K.C. has earned a first-round bye and will hit the floor in Hutch, on March 16th.