Coach: Four-year losing streak will end - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Coach: Four-year losing streak will end

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

After not winning a game last season, one local football team is overcoming hurdles to come back fighting.

The Waterloo East Football team battled injuries and low participation numbers last season, which forced the team to forfeit their final game. The Trojans ended the season with an 0-9 record, continuing a four-year losing streak.

"365 days can change a life. We just grinded and grinded. We will not forfeit this year. We will play every game," promised Waterloo East Head Coach, Xavier Leonard.

It is a determination that isn't just Coach Leonards, but the entire team. The six returning seniors say it is a different team.

"It is way different. It is more positive. This year, we actually want to win games and we feel like we can win games. This year, we feel like we can compete," said Senior Joseph Putman.

The team can compete in numbers, from just 16 varsity players in 2016 to 45 this year, plus another 30 new freshman players.

"I am literally running out of helmets," said Leonard.

What made the difference? Leonard says it was a lot of hard work from the entire school staff to recruit and keep players eligible.

"Trust me, I am the one burning up my tennis shoes, chasing them up and down the hallways, making sure they go to class. But I get good help," said Leonard, crediting the teaching staff and administration.

 But ultimately, it comes down to the players.

"These kids are different. They have been grinding hard since May," said Leonard.

As far as that losing streak goes, Coach says fans and opponents will be seeing a lot more of the Trojans in the end zone.

"The streak is over. The streak is over," said Leonard.

The Trojans face Des Moines North in their first game of the season at home this Friday.

KWWL Friday Night Heroes will have all the game highlights.

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