The Dougherty Trojans are tired of talking about the future. For this team, there is no time like the present.
After being beaten around for several seasons in Region 1-AAAA, the Trojans are dropping down to Class AAA. They feel they'll be much more competitive there.
"We were outmanned," says fifth year head coach Corey Joyner. "Our team never gave up. They just gave in because we were so tired from having to play guys both ways."
Joyner hopes that won't be an issue in 2016, especially in the trenches. He says the Trojans have 10 offensive lineman this season, up from just five a year ago.
But it's not just the reclassification that has the Trojans thinking state playoffs or bust this fall. It's the talent.
Joyner believes the talent he and his staff have been developing over the past few seasons are ready to bloom on the field. He thinks the Trojans have just what they need to make a postseason run.
"We've got a good quarterback coming up. We've got a good offensive line that have been playing for the last two years. We've got a good linebacking corps that have been playing since their freshman year," says Joyner. "We understand that this is our year, and we've been waiting for this for a very long time."
"It would be a relief [to reach the playoffs]," admits junior QB Anphernee Jordan. "We deserve it. The entire east side deserves it. We owe it to them to make it to the playoffs."
Dougherty will play a pair of scrimmage games against Brooks County and Mitchell County over the next two weeks. They open the season at home August 18 when they host Turner County.
Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved.