PLAINVIEW, Neb. -- Kyle Schmidt has seen the highs and the lows of football after an 0-8 season in 2021 to 9-0 in 2023. 

The Plainview Pirates swift turn around has them geared up to make a run at the title and a chance to stake their claim on the first one since 2005.

For Pirates head coach Kyle Schmidt, he can't pin down one exact thing but there’s one main reason the team has been able to rebuild in two years.

“Consistency. I mean, we’ve had kids out for four years now," Schmidt said. "We’re starting to get kids that want to be a part of the program, want to be committed, and want to put the work in to be good.”

Experience has also benefited the Pirates in the long-term.

“When we went 0-8, we had a lot of freshmen [and] sophomores on the field," Schmidt said. "Now those guys are juniors and seniors. So seeing that work pay off.”

One of those players is Junior Jacson King.

King played from the outset of his freshman year, carrying the ball for over 400 yards in his first season.

Now, King is nearing the thousand-yard rushing mark in his junior year and has turned into one of the leaders for the Pirates.

“We were super young and we only had a couple seniors so we knew that we had to take a step up and bring it when we got older," King said.

King isn’t the only Pirate to grow into the leader role.

Senior Brendan Weber has amassed over 1,400 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns in his career as a linebacker and tight end with the Pirates.

Weber talked about how the team was able to turn the program around through leadership.

“Us growing up and developing more and more and more this year so that’s took us to where we’re at now," Weber said.

With their upcoming matchup against Elkhorn Valley, Schmidt thought back to the last two times the Falcons and Pirates faced off in Plainview.

“We were just talking about it the other day," Schmidt said. "When we played EV [Elkhorn Valley] last game here, it was two 0-7 teams trying to get their first win. Then, the other night we played a 6-1 team and a 7-0 team playing for a district championship.”

The Pirates finished this year's regular season with a win over Elkhorn Valley and a close playoff win over Hartington-Newcastle 49-40.