Coach Phil Massey
Q: How would you characterize this year’s team?
A: Bigger than usual from a physical perspective, but we’re still young as far as game experience goes.
Q: What will be the keys to your success?
A: Staying healthy and having our young players progress quickly before we get into the meat of our league schedule.
Q: Who will be your key leaders on the team?
A: Returning starters Tyree Toliver (Sr., RB/DL), Tate Prater (Sr., WR), Gunnar Ricketts (Sr., WR),
Kalvin Watson (Sr., RB/LB), Pierce Collins (Sr., LB), Riley Bodine (Jr., OL/DL), Isaiah Strawter (Sr., OL/DL), Walker Culver (Jr., OL/DL), Brendon Harris (Jr., RB/DB), Henry White (Sr., WR/DB), and newcomer Cole Johnson (Sr., OL/DL).
Q: What are your biggest reasons for optimism?
A: We have really good senior leadership, and the young men have worked very hard this winter and spring.
Q: What can you build on from last year?
A: The fact that we got back to the semifinals continues to push us to work harder and reach everyone’s ultimate prize – the state championship.
Q: Any lessons learned from last year?
A: Great effort and attitude can carry you further than you can imagine.
Q: How would you characterize team speed?
A: Overall, our team speed is average. The offensive line will be a little bigger than last year, and the defensive front has shown good quickness off the ball.
This year’s team will be similar to last year from the standpoint of senior leadership and work ethic. With that combination, we’ll enter the season with some optimism. The home schedule is very favorable, and we’ll play eight games in Hamilton County for the first time since the Division II split. We travel to Nashville twice to play last season’s state champion and runner-up, Brentwood Academy and MBA.
Photos by Andy Mitchell and Dennis Culver