PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) -- Under first-year head coach Joe Chirico, Paintsville had its best season since 2005 last year, finishing with an 8-4 record.
"Every game was a highlight for me," Chirico said. "The first win was really exciting: playing Morgan County here - my first head coaching job, I got the water dumped on me, and that's shocking to the system when you are not ready for it. The cold water challenge has nothing on it at all."
With their success last season, the anticipation for a new slate this year has increased.
"Nobody expected us to win and we were the underdog," senior middle linebacker Gabe Burchell said. "But we did. This year, it has changed. We are expected to win."
Admittedly, there were times where even the players doubted themselves.
"No one outside that locker room expected us to win eight games," senior wide receiver Luke Daniels said. "Now some of us in there didn't expect us to win eight games. But we did. Now it's different."
The Tigers have Kash Daniels returning after shattering his ankle in the third game of the season and did not play the remainder of the year.
Kash Daniel, Junior Quarterback: "What motivates us now, having a little bit of success last year, we want to build on that," Daniel, who is expected to play quarterback this year, said. "We don't want to just get to the second round of the playoffs and come home and play basketball. We want to go the third, fourth and then to the carpet."
"We don't just play for regular season wins. After week 10, those wins and losses don't mean anything."
Daymion Belcher transferred from Johnson Central and his running game may end up as the reliable weapon, but the Tigers have others returning from last year's squad.
Peyton Smith, Senior Wide Receiver: "Our running game is definitely going to be a strength," returning senior wide receiver Peyton Smith said. "Luke Trimble and I, we will ruin screens - that's what we are best at."
Regardless of the success in 2013, the theme of this season is simple.
"We don't do it for our individual success," senior defensive end Darrell Sherman said. "We do it as a team."