ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –The St. Pius Sartans have started a new era with first-year head coach Curtis Flakes. The team is coming off a two-win season and the culture rebuild is already taking effect as the number of players in the program has grown by more than 30.

The players who have been in the program for multiple years are embracing the change and say that they respect how the new regime treats them as men and not just football players.

While turning around the program is never easy, Flakes has previous experience doing so. He ended Albuquerque High’s historic 42-game losing streak back in 2014.

The Sartans will be tested early as they open the season against a team that beat them by 41 points last year in the defending state champion Bloomfield Bobcats.