Look around the gym at Central City High School and you'll notice a few things. Like the lone boys state basketball banner sitting in the corner.
"The last few years, we really haven't done anything," Senior player Trevor Schuller said. "We haven't made it to conference or districts in a long time. I think this is the year we could do it. It think this is the year to start it now."
The Bison haven't been to the state tournament for more than six decades.. As this year's team sets out to change that, you'll also see a new face above the fence. Jimmy Motz is in his first season as the head coach at Central City.
"I think he's just pumped some energy into the program," Athletic Director Justin Anderson said. "He's really gotten the youth programs going and I guess there's just a lot of excitement in town now that he's here."
The excitement comes from Motz's time at Sterling High School, where the Lincoln Northeast and Creighton graduate took a struggling program to four straight state tournaments and a d-2 championship in 2009. He believes the same can be done at Central City.
"We're trying to do the same things here in terms of building a foundation," Motz said. "And hanging our hat on working hard, playing hard, and doing things right, doing things with a purpose."
"The Bison haven't been to the state tournament since 1947. That's 65 years, and getting back there, Coach Motz says, is about building a strong foundation.
The rebuilding projects centers on a offense built for speed. The Bison look for quick transitions to set up easy baskets. Not that surprising from a forward who played quick ball at Creighton until 2006. Players are welcoming the changes.
"It's a big deal to us, we kind of want to get a vibe in the community, Senior player Zach Reeves said. "It'd be huge for the next generations coming up. That's what I want. It would be big for out program. We need it."
In the here and now, Motz knows it's hard work that will get things done.