McMinn County coach Bo Cagle stopped just short of calling this season a rebuilding year for the Cherokees. "We come out for spring practice, and I didn't know who was on our team. I couldn't even recognize them. We have very few returning guys. We lost our whole front on the defense."
But there will be some familiar faces in the backfield. Dre Sanders is back after running for over a 1,000 yards last season, and Corbin Powers also returns at quarterback. Said Cagle,"Quarterback started all year last year as a sophomore. Passing leagues this year, he improved tremendously."
But if you want to make Coach Cagle sweat just holler kicking game. "Our long snapper had to move to punting last year. If you looked at his average, he was great. He averaged about 34-yards a punt. But they were rolling, ducking, and coming about eight feet off the ground. That may be the case again this year. We don't know just yet. Kicking was a fiasco. I think after about the fourth game, we went for two every time."
Even though the Cherokees have won three of the past four district titles, they were not picked to win it again this season. Said defensive back Trevor Crisp,"We've been picked fifth in the media poll for three years in-a-row. We've ended up proving them wrong, so I think it's motivation to us."
For McMinn County to compete, they'll have to maintain that black and gold swagger on defense. Said Crisp,"Our defensive coordinator tells us every year we got to go on the field with swagger. If we don't, we'll just be down. We've got to bring the swagger on defense."
Swagger is great, but effort is even better as far as Coach Cagle is concerned. "We want our guys to play hard for four quarters. Be fresh and get after people. That's all we want."