Nacogdoches, Texas (KETK) — The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks are ready for their second season in the Western Athletic Conference as they are picked as favorites to win the conference this year. The Lumberjacks say they’re ready for that pressure.

As the football season approaches the SFA Lumberjacks are fired up and ready to make some noise in the WAC.

“I’m excited we come out every single day and put work in the morning, night, meeting and out of meetings and extra work on your time I’m extremely excited. We have been working on staying consistent,” said Left Guard Jaylon Washington.

“It was three years in the making, the Lumberjacks are picked as the WAC favorites in the media polls and Head Coach Colby Carthel feels his guys are ready to meet those expectations

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“It’s what you want, you want the target on your back and we did some great things last fall, made the playoffs, we ended our season a little sooner than we wanted to and so we would like to push on a few rounds further and see how far we really can climb taking this program to the top,” explains Head coach Colby Carthel.

“We take it one day at a time and keep our composure, we know what we have here but at the end of the day you have to give the results and show what you’ve done and who you are and that’s what we want to do,” says Washington.

Players feel these years of growth helped them develop better leadership for this upcoming season.

“We’re able to coach ourselves and not having to go to the coach and ask him for every little thing, just discipline. We know one-eleventh in doing stuff,” adds Right Guard Justice Guillory.

The Lumberjacks were undefeated at Homer Bryce Stadium last season all thanks to the great community support.

“Every home game the crowd is filled, everyone is here from before until after the game, after you see everybody you shake their hand and you thank them. we have fireworks, everyone comes onto the field and we see family and sign stuff. I love the community support,” smiles Washington.

This could be the last battle of the pinewoods for some time because the Sam Houston State Bearkats are moving up to Football Bowl Subdivision. Coach Carthel feels they can pull out the last win by playing a complete game.

“You got to go through some struggles and trials because that next step is a tough one to take and I think last year helped us and the work that we put in this offseason so back to the battle of the pinewoods and hopefully we finish the way we need to and come out on top,” declares Coach Carthel.

“I’d say finish, you see how tight that game was don’t take no plays off, play every play 100 percent, and just be consistent throughout the first quarter and fourth quarter. just consistency and finish plays,” explains Guillory.

The Lumberjacks open their season on August 27 against Jacksonville State.