MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - Depth. "It's really hard to play four quarters on both sides of the ball for two and a half hours," says Clay County senior running back/linebacker Jacob Reid.
Experience. "We're a veteran group," says Tiger head coach Evan Napier, "and that's something we haven't had in a while."
And consistency. "We've had three or four coaches since I've been a freshman," adds Reid.
Three things all successful football programs have in common. Says Napier, "The fact that they're back and they're a year older and we've got some depth, it makes the potential there. We just got to take advantage of it."
And for the first time in several years Clay County has all three. "This is probably the most exciting year of football that I've ever had to look forward to," says Reid, who will help fellow running back Sam Carr shoulder the load in the backfield this season. "I've been playing with the same team every since I've been a freshman."
"We just got to win," says Napier, who is entering his third season as head coach of his alma mater. "We've got to get over that hump. We've been close the last two (seasons) of winning games, being right there in them, but when it all comes down to it we just got to win them."
Along with Reid, fellow back Carr is also back for the Tigers, and will lead the offense after rushing for more than 1,400 yards last season, but the passing game will also be a factor. "When you think about Mountain football it's mostly about running the ball," says junior wide receiver/defensive back Wes Wolfe, "and if you can (run and pass) it will help."
Especially with Wolfe back and healthy after playing in only five games as a sophomore. "It ain't just going to be run game all this season. Like Jacob (Reid) said, we got Wes back. He's healthy, so we can throw it to him, but it's definitely going to be mixed up more. It ain't going to be all run game," says Carr.
And should things fall into place a district championship is not too far out of reach. Says Napier, "We can be anywhere from top to bottom. That's the thing with this district, you learn to expect the unexpected."