PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Chemistry. Pike Central has it.
"A lot of players had mohawks last year. Uh, I didn't get one last year, so I figured I'll be the first one to get one this year," says junior wide receiver Chris Wesley.
Poise. Pike Central has it.
"We got a tough schedule but no matter what, we just got to keep working every day as hard as we can, says quarterback Mac Justice.
Tenacity. Pike Central has that too.
"We have more experience coming back," says senior running back Marcus Johnson. "We are not as young as we was and we have a lot more intensity coming into the season, and we have a lot more people that's fundamentally right."
Despite finishing runner-up behind Belfry the last two seasons, the Hawks think they can be the ones on top this year.
"We can meet Belfry in the regional, and if we get past Belfry, we could go to state and we could win it," says Johnson.
Along with Johnson, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards in 2012, most of the skill players are back, but losing three lineman will be a challenge to fight through.
"Last season, I personally had a problem with staying low," reflects lineman Alexander Peters. "I worked on that a lot. Just being smarter."
Perhaps the most positive asset coming back will be junior quarterback Justice. He completed 151 passes for close to 2,500 yards in 2012, and his heart is charged up for 2013.
"I hope you are saying that this is the best Pike Central football team you have ever seen," says Justice. "Past couple years, we have come runner up in the district. We just need to take the next step, get to Belfry, take care of them."
The Hawks will open up the season at Belfry, but they will be playing Henry Clay as part of the Pike County Bowl. As far as the game against Belfry, well, they will have to wait until October 25th.