"It's tough you look at teams that are 45-50 deep its a little intimidating sometimes," says junior David Orndorf.
"It can get pretty bad out there,” says lineman Ethan Fansler. “You know your huffing and puffing."
But head coach Chad Williams isn't going to complain about a small team.
"I’m not going to use that as an excuse we play eleven men just the rest of the teams we play. I think they realized what happened last year is unacceptable...It's unacceptable to me and to them and I think they learn from that."
This year the team has 27 players. Coach Williams says its one of his largest teams in the past couple years. But only 2 of those 27 are seniors. Which means the junior class is stepping it up.
"We have a pretty good group of juniors,” says junior runningback Stephen See. “We've got a lot of them that are athletic and strong."
And it means more time to perfect a new defensive scheme Coach Williams says the new defense fits his players better.
"It was something that had to be done. Last year we scored about 24 points a game and won only two games."
And with all the disadvantages, it does not deter the team from having a better season.
"It kind of helps us because our team unity is better,” says lineman Tyler Kerr. “We work harder because we know we have to compete with other schools."
The Cougars of East Hardy open the season when they take on