They've come a long way.
One year ago Green River football began as just an idea, a test balloon, with the goal of getting football players back in school for a second chance.
In year two, the stakes are higher for Green River football and the Northwest Community College football league.
The goal is still to foster a community college football atmosphere where talented players can come in and work towards moving on to universities or any other four year football program, and the same challenges remain - Green River football is a club with players who happen to be students at Green River Community College. The school still does not, and cannot, have anything to do with it.
Still, with all things considered, just one year young, the league has been inching toward success. And Green River is a leading reason why.
From dominating on the football field to all the attention they garnish among local high school players and coaches, they are adding prestige to a league that is still in its experimental phase.
Roster turnover from last year has been dramatic on a team that went undefeated the year before; over half the team is new, and academics are a big reason why. When over 100 players came to try out, motivation in class was one of the first things that Coach Todd Stroschein looked at.
"They didn't make this team. We saw it right away and they didn't make this roster," Stroschein said about the players without the drive or motivation. "They might be great ball players, but it doesn't matter if they can't do it in school."
The importance of this can't be stressed enough. For the league to be considered a success, the players are going to have to be recruited into the next level, and that won't happen unless they have the grades for it.
The veterans on the Green River team also know this, and have helped out the younger and newer players to the program.
"They have really been great role models. Helping the younger guys, showing them where to live, what classes to take, where to go to get tutors," Stroschein said of his returning players. "They've guided them through everything."
One of those returners is wide-receiver LeRon Yarbough who has been with the program from the beginning.
"It was a big brother role, they understand that we're student athletes and students first," Yarbough said of guiding the younger players. "This team is more student first, player second. We all want to go to school and we all want to play."
Returning running back Michael Strong has used Green River football to his advantage last year and knows firsthand what these players have to lose.
"Plain and simple. It's football. Some last, some don't, but you always got to stay dedicated to what you want to do," Strong said.
"A lot of guys come here and say that they want to transfer somewhere, and it's going to start with grades first. A lot of people can play football, but not everybody can get it done in the classroom."
One of the things the program is getting is recognition around campus. Obviously challenging since they are not an official part of the college and are a separate entity from the Green River Community College athletic department, the players are still striving for the support of the student body.
"There are way more people now that know about our football team than last year and they actually think it's pretty cool," Yarbough said about it.
"I've had teachers stop me and tell me it's cool us having a football team. We have a lot of support from our peers."
On the football field, the Green River Reapers, who went 6-0 last season, are looking to replicate that success, but suffered a stumble on the road in week one when they fell to expansion team Colombia Basin.
"That loss really hurt…and to me it was really embarrassing, and it should have never happened. We're going to fix it," Stroschein said.
The Reapers came back strong after that loss and defeated Tacoma in resounding fashion.
On October 2 the team went down to Arizona to face one of the top Junior College programs in the nation in Arizona Western.
They get back to league play on October 9 against Yakima Valley, whom they defeated twice last season.