Northwest Whitfield was oh so close to the playoffs last year. But they lost a region play-in game to Gilmer 40-37 in triple overtime to end their season. Said defensive lineman Isaiah Mack,"I'm probably never going to forget about that game no matter how much I try. I still have people like band people and parents. They talk about the dreaded game. I just call it dreaded. I don't even want to remember the people's names." Said quarterback Caleb Shiflett,"Very emotional. Disbelief in a way." Added head coach Josh Robinson,"Drawing back on it, where we may have a bad practice or things are going wrong. We go back and say, hey look guys, the going is going to get tough. When you come down to it, it comes down to a play here, or a play there when it's two good teams, so it does matter what has happened."
Even though the Bruins break in a new quarterback in Caleb Shiflett, coach Robinson believes the offense will be effective. "I think offensively, we are going to be able to run and throw the ball. I believe our offensive line is more experienced now."
But the Bruins strength will be on the defensive front, led by senior Isaiah Mack, the reigning region player of the year. Said Robinson,"I've been here eleven years. We've had some good defensive linemen. Some really good ones. He by far has the best motor out of anyone we have ever had. He's right at 6'1-and-a-half, and he weighs a little over 260. He played last year at 218. He has gained 40-pounds working out two times a day." Said Mack,"I feel the same way. Same speed. The only difference is, I feel a whole lot stronger."
And I-Mack will be buoyed on the front line by Caleb Bowie. Said Mack,"I believe more in him than me. I think he can do it all."