Q. How would you characterize this year’s team?
A. Hardworking, very hardworking. We are small but very determined not to let our size dictate our season.
Q. What will be the keys to your success?
A. Our leadership. Returning seniors, even lowerclassmen, are big-time leaders in the weight room, in the classroom, and on the field.
Q. Who will be your key leaders on the team?
A. LaTrell Sanderfer (Sr., WR/C/RB), Landon Wallace (Jr., C/WR), Tre Warthan (Sr., QB/DB), Devon Baker (Sr., C/LB), Austin Francis (Sr., C/G/DE), Tay McDaniel (Sr., RB/OLB), D’Angelo McReynolds (Sr., RB/OLB).
Q. What will keep you up at night?
A. Our numbers and what every other team is doing. You go into every week with a game plan, and there are always wrinkles based on what the other team does during the game.
Q. What can you build on from last year?
A. A strong offense that we put in last year is a big key. Being comfortable with play calls and the coaches we have around us. A good head coach is based on the assistant coaches, and here at Hixson, we have the best assistant coaches around.
Q. Any lessons learned from last year?
A. We started off 0-3. Even though you start off rough, you can always turn it around. We ended up going 6-0 after the first three losses.
Q. How would you characterize your team’s speed?
A. We graduated six lineman last year. When it comes to upfront, we’re rebuilding the offensive line. We have speed, but I don’t care as much about speed. It’s more about the completion of tasks rather than someone’s speed.
Right now, I think we’re going to be very competitive in every game we play. We can win every game, or we can lose every game. Other than Maryville and Alcoa, there is no clear-cut winner in our region. Any team, on any given Friday, can win. We’re competitive to the last second.
Photos by Andy Mitchell