Cornelius came from Tahoka after long time head coach Keith Mullins left this past offseason, but it's by no means his first trip to Merkel. Before becoming the head coach of the Bulldogs, Cornelius was an assistant for Mullins in Merkel between 2005-2009.
Now he returns to take over a Badgers squad that missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2006. The road back will have some bumps in it, and plenty of changes as Cornelius takes over.
"It's a process. We got a lot of carry over from the staff that was here. So, we haven't changed every thing, but there is some new things that we're trying to learn. We're doing things a little different. We're not there yet, but we're taking it a day at a time and trying to get better," said Cornelius.
The players are also picking up on the changes that with a new head coach.
"There's definitely a lot of differences. He's totally a different coach than coach Mullins. Different offense, different defense, we're learning tons. Most of the guys on varisty are picking it up pretty easy," said Caleb Workman.
The Badgers return four starters on each side of the ball this season. That includes quarterback Austin Bustamante, who threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns towards the end of last season.
Running back Britton Seymore is also back for the Badgers after rushing for six scores a year ago on the ground, as well as three touchdown receptions through the air.