The Wildcats’ football program has 12 consecutive non-losing seasons, including 2011’s 8-4 campaign, when they won a home playoff game for the first time since 2005.
Laney coach Lemuel Lackey said there are only seven seniors this season, but there’s still talent and high expectations.
“The fans, they all depend on us to keep up the winning tradition,” lineman James Holmon said.
Laney will have to find a new quarterback after Leo Myers’ departure. But no matter who takes over the role, the signal caller will havea big offensive line protecting him and talented running backs.
George Myers and DeMarcus Nunnally will provide veteran leadership in the backfield. With that and a solid defense, the Wildcats are looking to reach the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 years.
Lackey, entering his sixth season as head coach,said the home playoff win last season was important. Not only had Laney lost in the first round in each of its three previous playoff appearances, but all those defeats came on the road. He thinks the winning a playoff game at home improves the Wildcats’ status throughout the state.
The goal this season, however, is to further that.
“I think our name is still good and people understand the caliber of ball we play,” Lackey said.
Laney will set out to prove its worth outside Augusta in two key non-region games.
After opening the season Friday against Butler, the Wildcats will face Westminster, of Atlanta, at home on Sept. 7. Westminster has reached the second round of the playoffs in each of the past five seasons. Two weeks later, Laney travels to Washington County in the schools’ first meeting since 2003.
Laney remains in Region 3-AA along with Dublin, East Laurens and Screven County. The Wildcats will also face region newcomers Harlem, Josey and Westside. All three schools were previously in Class AAA.
Nunnally says the team has big goals this season.
“I’m not going to make any predictions, but our aim is high,” Nunnally said.