APPLETON (WLUK) -- In case you didn't notice the Appleton West football team has been moving in the right direction the last two seasons.
After years of losing the Terrors registered a 5-5 record in 2015 and last year they posted a 7-4 mark with a playoff win -- their first since 2004. Prior to 2015, West won just 16 games in a combined 10 seasons.
"We won five game games a couple years ago, built on it last year and looking to build more on it this year," senior running back Patrick Ourada said. "We've put a lot of work into the weight room and we're just really excited for the season."
"It is a lot of fun the last couple years, just because the quality of the kids that we had to and made it enjoyable," coach Brent Engen said.
West enters 2017 looking to build on its success and having Ourada is a good start. Last season, Ourada rushed for 1,788 yards and 21 touchdowns.
"There's a level of expectation," Engen said. "I think expectation is exactly where you want to be. For our kids, there is expectation there and it's a position we worked many years to get to."
Ourada isn't holding back when asked about what he wants the Terrors to achieve this season.
"We have a great group of guys coming back," he said. "We have a lot of seniors that have had the experience. We're just looking to build off that and have another successful season.
"We'd like to compete for the conference championship this year. We've gotten progressively better each year and we're looking to keep getting better every day. I think w e have a great group of guys here and I think we can compete with the best teams in the state."
West will get that chance when it plays Kimberly this season. Engen said, however, he doesn't know when West plays Kimberly or any other team but Hortonville, the season-opening opponent.
The Terrors have their blinders on.
Said Engen: "Our focus will be like it has been the last few years, go 1-0 during the week and everything else takes care of itself."
APPLETON WEST 2017 SCHEDULE
Aug. 18 Hortonville
Aug. 25 at Marshfield
Sept. 1 Wausau West
Sept. 8 at Oshkosh North
Sept. 15 Kimberly
Sept. 22 at Appleton East
Sept. 29 Bowman Academy (IN)
Oct. 6 at Appleton North
Oct. 13 at Kaukauna
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay