Pride is something new at Bulldogs' practice this season.
And right now there's plenty to go around thanks to the school's first win in three years, a 52-20 victory over Florala.
"Best feeling in the world. It was a long time coming,” says Bulldogs receiver Kit Johnson.
"It was time for them to get a win,” adds coach Jason Wambles. “Hopefully, that's got us over the hump now and we can continue to get better.
New coach, Jason Wambles, knew he needed to change the culture at his alma mater when he returned in June. The first step was just getting enough bodies to the field.
"Nobody wanted to play football. Nobody was here...there was, what, 13 players last year," says Bulldogs running back Jayson Kelley.
"The more games you lose in a row, the more people you have quitting and not wanting to go through with it anymore."
But Wambles’ energy helped garner interest. And 13 players became 43.
"You know, they've been beat down for awhile, and I came in and I pumped them up," says Wambles.
And now, four weeks in, Kinston’s tasted success. More importantly, the team believes it’s a sign of things to come.
"It's going to take everything we've got, and we can do it,” Kelley says.
"Just because we've won one doesn't mean we've done our job. Our job is to keep getting better and to win more than one or two ballgames a year," adds Johnson.
Right now, they’re laying the foundation.
"We might not have a winning season this year, but it's the start of something new."
The Bulldogs' ultimate goal is to become, once again, a perennial playoff team.
When, and if, that happens they'll look back on this squad as the one that got the "pride back".