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'We still got it': Southeast Polk football looks to repeat as champions

"We've always been hungry. We've stayed hungry no matter what," said defensive lineman Obald Niyonkuru.

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — When you're coming off of a state football championship, you can pretty much
guarantee you'll be getting every team's best shot game after game.

But Southeast Polk High School is ready for the challenge.

The defending Class 5A state champs aren't lacking hunger as they enter a new season.

After all — it's a new year and a new team.

"We have a lot to prove this year because we lost a lot of big names last year but I love that we have everyone's best shot," said tight end and defensive lineman Sam Good.

They're returning some key contributors to last year's success like
like offensive tackle and Iowa-commit Kadyn Proctor and running back Abu Sama, an Iowa State commit.

RELATED: 5-star offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor commits to Iowa

And while success is likely for such a talented group -- it's not guaranteed.
Head coach Brad Zelenovich knows that and he also knows what it takes
to be an elite program in Class 5A.

"There's a certain recipe for success at this level of football. Usually, teams that win at a high level in 5A are physical, line of scrimmage type programs," Zelenovich said. "So, you know, we always start there on both sides of the ball and then work out. So, [we're] getting better, but I know we got a ways to go."

Defensive lineman Obald Niyonkuru says improvement is something the team strives for, even coming off a winning season. 

"We've always been hungry. We've stayed hungry no matter what. Just because we won a state championship doesn't mean nothing. New year, new team. We still got it," Niyonkuru said.

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