Down in the Pit, the Randolph-Clay Red Devils are seeking their first state playoff berth since 2005.
The Devils will have to do it without former UGA signee Gary McCrae, who graduated and moved on to the juco ranks.
The team is young this season, with only seven returning starters back.
But head coach Daniel McFather believes competing in 7-on-7 tournaments this summer has helped the team grow up a little faster.
It’s not real live game action, and McFather knows only experience will help the Red Devils this season.
“We’ve got to have some kids grow up early and grow up quick. We’re probably going to show our youth the first game or two,” McFather says. “Hopefully, we can get those under our belt and mature like we should.”
Though young, the Red Devils feel they have a shot at the state playoffs.
McFather says he wants to see three things happen in 2015.
“We’re looking for commitment first. Second, we want to get better every week,” he says. “Third, by the time we get to the end of the season, we want to be in the playoffs. With the Single-A power rating system, you just have to hope those that you play continue to win also.”
It’s been nine seasons since the Red Devils played in the postseason, but McFather says he saw some things this summer that make him believe a playoff spot is an attainable goal.
“We saw our kids get better each week. At the beginning of the summer, we weren't very good. We had to teach them how to work in the weight room,” he says. “But we saw some kids step up into leadership roles that they didn't do last year. Anytime that happens, you're glad to see that.”
The Red Devils open the 2015 campaign August 21 at Lanier County.