McFARLAND (WKOW) -- It's been nearly two calendar years since the McFarland Spartans lost the 2019 WIAA Division 3 State Finals game and three years since they fell short in 2018.
Now. the losses are used as motivation for a team Head Coach Brett Ogorzalek defines as "grinders."
"They're grinders. The guts. The grit. The metal. We're going to win every 50-50 ball. We're going to give 100-percent," said Ogorzalek.
Junior striker Zach Nichols is fully embracing the nickname.
"[We] work hard no matter the circumstance. Do whatever you can to win. Get down and dirty," said the junior playmaker.
Nichols was a member of the 2018 and 2019 teams that came in second place. He's hoping the alternate season's tournament will give them a chance to turn things around.
"[The losses] put a bad taste in our mouth," said Nichols. "We all now what we want and since we couldn't be together, we put in the work on our own. And now that we are together, we're putting the puzzle together."
The Spartans remember how close they were to a state title and have their eyes set on a run this spring.
"It's full steam ahead, keep our momentum that we have rolling, and just keep playing as a team," said Nichols.
"We know we lost in the final last year and the year before. They know what's up and what's at stake," said Ogorzalek.
The WIAA Boys' Soccer Regional round starts on May 4th.