TEAGUE, Tex -- The Teague Lions came up just short on winning their third straight district title last season.

They came in second in District 9-3A DI behind Malakoff . The Lions' season came to an end in the third round of the playoffs after a tough loss to Cameron Yoe.

The Lions made history in 2015 when they made it four rounds deep in the playoffs and they plan on making it even further in 2017.The Lions graduated a big senior class but they have a ton of returning starters. Nine on offense and five on defense. Head coach Donnie Osborn says this year's team has a ton of potential.

"We have a good group, a good core group. We lost a couple of offensive lineman which is huge for us, we lost a couple of defensive lineman and we lost two linebackers," Donnie Osborn said.

"After that everybody's back and the great thing about that is we've got some young guys behind them who got a lot of snaps last year. We really feel like they're gonna step in and be as good or better in a lot of situations than those guys that graduated," Osborn added.

The Lions say their defense is what's going to be key for them this season and they're planning on bringing quite a few gold balls back to Teague in 2017.

"That's just how confident we are. We play good defense, defense wins championships, obviously people know that so it's a good advantage for us. We are ready to play defense to win the game and our offense is just gonna come with it," Teague senior safety/wide receiver Tyrese Heard said.

"Our defense, our coaches always stress on us to get to the ball most of our safeties and linebackers are fast, even our defensive line. No one on our defense is slow so were gonna get to the ball and be physical. Were gonna hit you in the mouth," Teague senior running back/safety said.