It was just 4 years ago the Washington-Wilkes Tigers were playing for a state title against rival Lincoln County. But since that loss, they haven't advanced past the second round of the playoffs. This year, they want to change that.
Lee Hutto takes over as head coach of the Tigers, coming over from region foe Warren County. With the new coach comes a new system as well, one that was tough to learn from the start. But with a week left until the season begins, the Tigers are picking it up.
"When we first started spring practice, it was a little difficult," said senior Akeimos Coleman. "But after that, we're rolling with it now."
"We've struggled at times," said Hutto, "because the terminology is different. The snap counts are different. Formations are different. Coverages are still different. But the kids have really progressed since spring and I think they're starting to catch on to it."
The Tigers play in one of the toughest regions in Class A, with the likes of Lincoln County and Wilkinson County. That's why the Tigers are hoping to jump out of the gates quick, to get some momentum before the region games begin in October.
"It's very important," said Hutto. "Especially with a new head coach and a new system. I think the more we win, the more confidence I think our kdis will have and the more they'll believe in what we're doing."
As far as playmakers, look out for runningback Eric Scott. He's only a junior but he's already shown flashes of becoming a star. The Tigers begin the season on the road for two games then will be play six straight at home, before finishing on the road at Warren county and Aquinas.