NAMPA -- Columbia saw the fruits of their labor pay off last fall, as the team snapped a 25-game losing streak in a win against Mountain Home, a win that instilled confidence throughout the Wildcats' program.
"That win was huge, it gave us so much more confidence to keep moving forward and know that we have a chance in every game," said senior tight end Michael Young.
"I joked around with people last year, but it felt like we had just won the Super Bowl, and for us, it was huge," said Columbia head coach Rich Davis.
This year's squad looks to build upon that momentum, the Wildcats return a slew veterans this fall.
"The seniors this year have had two years of varsity experience," Davis said. "I think that will pay off for us now."
The Wildcats will lean on an offense that returns eight starters, highlighted by senior running back Allamar Alexander, who rushed for 950 yards last season.
"He is fast, fourth place in the 100 (meter finals) behind some pretty fast kids and in addition to that, he's just really shifty," Davis said.
"It was mainly my offensive line," Allamar said of his breakout junior season. "They had the great blocks and gave me the good looks, they made some big holes and they got me the good yards that I got."
And if opposing defenses load the box, the Wildcats have a multipurpose weapon in tight end Michael Davis.
"He was our leading receiver last year, by a long ways, but he's also our best blocker," Davis said.
The momentum from last year's two wins, combined with a veteran squad returning this fall has the Columbia program believing that making the playoffs isn't a pipe-dream, but an actual goal they can achieve this fall.
"The way the league is structured, potentially, we have a chance at some post-season play, we'd like to be in the mix if we can, by the end of the season and hopefully the ball bounces our way," Davis said.
8/25 - vs. Canyon Ridge
9/1 - at Mountain Home
9/9 - vs. Borah
9/15 - vs. Centennial
9/22 - vs. Capital
9/29 - at Mountain View
10/6 - at Nampa
10/13 - vs. Boise
10/20 - at Meridian