For the Millsap Bulldog football team, the start of the 2019 season stands as a chance to build on last year’s playoff berth, the program’s first in nine years.

It also stands as the Bulldogs’ first chance to utilize the team’s upgraded locker rooms in regular season action.

The locker room upgrades were completed earlier this spring, however the program’s players still feel an added sense of excitement walking through the doors of the team’s field house, senior Hunter Burton said.

“When you first walk up to the field house, the first thing you see are the front doors,” Burton said.

“They have a picture from several years ago [of former players], and every time I see it, I can’t help but remember the hard work and dedication they put into the program to make it better.”

More pictures of Millsap’s players cover the walls inside the team’s locker room, reminding the Bulldogs of the contributions of their teammates, both past and present, Burton said.

“In the varsity locker room,  there is a wrap with pictures of us from last year’s season that runs across the walls,” Burton said.

“I will never forget how excited the entire program was when we first saw the wrap. We the players had a conversation about how awesome it is that we are on that wall, and for the upcoming guys to see and remember what we did for the program. 

“Overall when you walk into the field house, the energy level is already at a new level.”

Fellow senior Dayson Benfer also highlighted the locker room pictures, saying they are a constant reminder of what it means to be a part of Millsap’s football program.

“[I like] the details put on the wall above the lockers, because they really portray what we do in the program,” Benfer said.

“It shows our passion for the game.”

Both longtime Bulldogs said it is an honor to be part of the first group to utilize the upgraded locker rooms.

“Being a part of the first team to use those improvements is amazing,” Burton said.

“When my brother was in high school at Millsap six years ago, I remember how the locker room used to look. It was just plain white walls and four rows of normal lockers. But this year we have all these improvements. 

“The new look gives you that energy for practices or games.”

Benfer echoed his teammate’s sentiments. 

“It means the world to me because I have given blood, sweat and tears for this program, and it [feels] like I got rewarded for giving my all,” Benfer said.