LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - The next team in our DQ Grill and Chill Pigskin Preview series is the South Laurel Cardinals, who are coming off a 1-9 campaign and are also bringing in a new head coach.
"That's just our mindset, is to win. We don't think about losing. We don't think about last year's defeats. We think about this year's success and winning every time we step on the field."
That doesn't sound much like a head coach who is taking over a struggling program but that is the kind of attitude Matt Rhymer has brought to the South Laurel Cardinals.
"I think the whole attitude is different really," says senior Jake Hale. "We have a whole new coaching staff and they come in and it's whole different offense and defense, a whole different type of game."
The Cardinals are coming off a year where they finished just 1-9 and missed out on the class 5A state playoffs, but with a new staff in charge the Cards are hoping to run, not fly into the postseason.
"The more guys that we can get in rotation in the backfield will be big for us, and that is a strong suit for us," says Rhymer. "I think we have maybe seven or eight guys who can play the running back position well."
"We're a big team and we have some quick players, some guys who can really stretch out plays and make big plays and get out in the open and run," adds Austin Rickett, a senior running back.
Defensively, Rhymer is hoping he can rely on a deep front to apply pressure, forcing opponents to compete with the Cardinals' talented defensive backfield.
"Really try to control the line of scrimmage on defense," says the first-year head coach. "We play a lot of teams that like to run the football so we feel like if we can stop the run and control the line of scrimmage and make people throw the ball then that will play into our favor"
South Laurel will be tested early when they open against 3A opponent Wayne County on Saturday, August 31st.