HOUSTON - When a group has been down for a while, at the first glimmer of success the natural reaction is to celebrate that moment.
For a team that went 0-19 in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, any win could feel like they just won a state championship. For Livingston, entering the 2020 season, the Lions were staring at a 2-26 record over the last three seasons - the last two being under Finis Vanover.
"We kept our eighth, ninth and 10th graders together and did not move them up two years ago when I got here," Vanover said. "We kept them together and coached the mess out of them. They won eight or nine games at every level for the last three years.
"We knew they were going to be exceptional and now here we are."
When Livingston started the year 0-2, some may have thought things hadn't changed. The Lions 2-28 in their last 30 games at that point.
But then it happened.
A 21-20 win over Orangefield. Then a 35-20 win over Diboll and then make it three-in-a-row with a 21-16 win over Madisonville. The Lions had a winning record at 3-2 on September 25. Livingston wasn't done.