The Eagles face a similar schedule this year, with the non-conference game against Bethalto again, except this time the game is at Bethalto.
In 2012, the key for Newton was keeping the score low. In the Eagles' four wins, they held their opponents to an average of 8.5 points per game. The Eagles didn't win a game when their opponent scored more than 13 points.
When the opposition got above that number, the Eagles couldn't get in the win column. Newton's opposition averaged 29.4 points per game in the Eagles' five losses.
With a lot of experience coming back on the front seven, the defense should be stout and the team is putting in the effort on the field to catch Fulton's eye.
"This is a pretty special group, I've been really impressed with their work ethic," he said.
The season opens Friday night at Bethalto, and the Eagles' first home game is Sept. 13 against Flora.
The goal is simple, and Fulton knows what it'll take.
"One more, we would have been (there)," he said. "You've got to believe."