Everyone at Lingleville's first two-a-day football practice Monday morning knew how to get into a 3-point stance.

That alone shows how far the six-man program has come in a year.

The Cardinals went a surprising 4-5 in their first season of football in more than 40 years. This time around, they are starting fresh, but hardly starting over.

"The guys all had their helmets on correctly and remembered how to get in a stance," said head coach Justin Del Bosque, who added athletic director to his title this spring. "That right there means we're a lot farther ahead than last year."

Fifteen Cards were out for the first day of practices, and Del Bosque expects 19 to report today.

"We also have a couple more we're pretty sure are going to play, so we could get more than 20," Del Bosque said.

Basics were still stressed on opening day, but the spirits were high.

"Last year, there was a lot of doubt on a lot of faces," said Del Bosque. "This year, it's different, everyone knows what they're getting into.

"The basics we're teaching now are different than what we were teaching last year," he added. "Those were basic basics."

Del Bosque called it a "typical" first day.

"It was pretty typical. It could have been worse, but there were things that could have looked a lot better, too."

The Cards host Cherokee and Gordon in scrimmage play Aug. 13 and 19 before opening the regular season against Stephenville Faith Homeschool, also at home, on Aug. 27.