The Fowler High School Goldbugs open their 2018 six-man football season with a tough test against last year’s second-place finisher Cheylin.

It won’t be easy preparing for such a tough opponent, head coach Craig Maynard said, especially with as few players as are out for the team right now.

“We've got eight on the team playing six-man football, and football being a contact sport, I'm hoping (for) no injuries, so I mean right now it's a lot of conditioning, considering seven of the six are gonna have to play both sides of the ball,” Maynard said.

That’ll mean most players are playing both on offense and defense for the Goldbugs this season.

The first game will be a tough test for the for the Goldbugs, but Maynard said he is looking forward to it.

“At least week one we'll be as healthy as we're gonna be,” Maynard said. “We'll be full-force, so I'm glad we get a strong opponent week one to see where we're at, and then we'll be able to gauge ourself and if we happen to win that game then I think that'd be a big boost moving forward, thinking ‘Well we beat the team that played in the state championship, so that must mean we can get there.’”

The team lost a lot of good seniors, Maynard said, but the return key starters in quarterback Saul Medina, running back Daniel Garcia and wide receiver and defensive back Darien DeLaTorre.

"We lost a lot but I feel like they laid a foundation for the program moving forward (and) what we're trying to build here,” Maynard said. “You want to build, you can't say a 'winning tradition' if you don't even have a winning record, but at least knowing that we can be in every game and we have the opportunity to win because the attitude I think before was just 'show up and let's get this over with' and now we're looking forward to playing every game.”

They also have a few new players they hope can make an immediate impact.

Maynard said he has seen kids start to get on board with where the team is going this season.

"I think across the board, I think our team is feeling like we can play with anybody."

The Goldbugs open the season with a road game on Aug. 31 at Cheylin. They open up at home against Natoma Sept. 7.