The Lions lost key players from their 2012 squad and finished 3-8 and were ousted in the first round of the SCISA playoffs.
A year later, optimism is high once more in Pride Valley.
“I’m excited about the opportunities that we have,” coach Keith Walton said. “We have great senior leadership, a class that’s been together for a while and they’ve been through the battles. They’ve been through the highs and they’ve been through the lows and just watching them come out and be great teammates to their teammates gives us a great positive outlook.”
Walton is especially high on his defensive unit, one that is filled with speed and senior experience.
Leading the charge is senior defensive back/wide receiver Kobie Brinson, who is determined to help turn things around.
“Me and (Zach) Giella are coming out here, stepping up, coming early to practices, preaseason meetings during the summer, just getting everything straightened out now,” said Brinson, who has eight career interceptions and has his sights on breaking the school record of nine.
He has higher aspirations, however.
“The main goal is win,” Brinson said. “We want to be back Nov. 23 at Benedict College.”
Walton doesn’t expect to veer far from his standard offense, running the multiple I with power running. Clemson commit Giella anchors the line, junior Matthew Peavler will get the nod under center and Walton said running back will be by committee.
Walton likes his team’s intangibles and looks for a few breaks to get back on the winning side of the column.
“Experience, which we have at some key positions,” Walton said. “Leadership, which we have, I’ve been very pleased with that. Consistency right now, stay healthy and the ball’s got to bounce our way every now and then.”