Seneca on the hunt for first district championship in eight years

Cody Hilburn leads the Indians to a district championship appearance is his first year as head coach

SENECA, Mo. – The Seneca Indians are headed to the district championship. The last time the Indians played for the district title was in 2019. It’s been even longer since they’ve won it.

“Our kids are excited to be here. We haven’t won a district championship in eight years and our goal was to get back to this game in hopes to win it,” says head coach Cody Hilburn. “Our kids are excited, but that’s been the case all year. They show up on Monday’s even after a loss and are focused and ready to work like nothing’s changed.”

Hilburn leads his group to the title game in his first year as head coach at his alma mater.

“All the credit goes to our kids,” Hilburn says. “They show up and work extremely hard every day. They do everything we ask they to do. I’m just proud of them. For me, being a first year head coach and a senior class that had to have a new head coach their senior year, I think it would be pretty special for those kids that had to go through this transition to come away with a district championship.”

To get to the title game, Seneca had to take down Aurora. The Indians battled back from a 12-0 halftime deficit to win by one point.

“We’ve been in that situation, down at halftime, several times this year,” says Hilburn. “We didn’t hit the panic button. We came out and stuck to the game plan, executed and pulled it off there at the end.”

Now, Seneca (7-4) will travel to face Mountain Grove (8-2).

“Mountain Grove is a really good football team, but everybody still playing is really good,” Hilburn says. “They’re big, they’re physical. Their quarterback does a really good job at running their offense. We’ll have to play well.”

Seneca and Mountain Grove kicks off at 7 PM on Friday.