FORK UNION, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- From the moment Mark Shuman took charge of the Fork Union program players say the energy has done a complete 180.
"High intensity, physical practices, you can just tell that he's about business," senior receiver/defensive back Elijah Hawks said, "So I know we're going to have a great year."
"I believe this is going to be completely different than the team you saw last year," senior defensive end Myles Brickhouse said, "The energy has been great, we've got a lot of new components to the team and I just feel we're going to come out and shock a lot of people."
A far cry from a year ago, where players struggled through a two win season, but Shuman, a FUMA grad, has gotten players to buy in once again.
"Maybe in the past, losing a little bit, they get down a lot," Shuman said, "My big thing is whether we're up by 21 or down by 21 we just want to keep playing hard. The coaches are going to keep coaching hard, I expect our players to keep playing hard no matter what the result is."
"There's no bad vibes, there's nothing bad," senior offensive tackle Nick Lampro said, "We're not hating on each other, we're always picking each other up. I'm excited to come to practice everyday, more than I usually am."
With a new coach comes plenty of new faces for the Blue Devils on both sides of the ball that Shuman says will bring competition to every position on the field. But as far as FUMA's game plan, Shuman hopes to keep things simple so players can focus on making plays.
"We're going to be a very physical team, very physical," Hawks said, "We condition ourselves very well, we're going to make it through four quarters, we're going to stay in the game the whole game."
"I think offensively and defensively, fast pace and physicality, that's going to be the name of our game," Brickhouse said.
And after six straight losing seasons, Shuman and the Blue Devils have set the bar high in year one.
"I think the sky's the limit this year. I think we're better focused, bringing energy every day," Shuman said.
"We just want to bring that culture back, we ain't been there in years, so we got to take it game by game," Hawks said, "That's our goal, we're going to take it game by game and once we get to the playoffs it's a whole new season."