Last time we checked in with the Calhoun County basketball team, they were hanging their heads in despair following a state title loss.
This fall the Cougars are thankful for a shot at redemption.
Looks of despair have been replaced by ones of optimism.
The Cougars had no seniors last year, the whole band is coming back.
That includes senior guard Rashun Williams who had 25 points and five blocks in the state championship loss to Wilcox County.
The Cougars opened this season outscoring Hawkinsville by 72 points.
Easy to tell it was a long offseason.
"Longest ever, longest ever," admitted Calhoun County head coach Marcus Shaw. "Just the wait to get back and try to redeem yourself from coming up short in the state championship game. We're raising the bar. Good experience. Each one of these kids had the opportunity to grow and play on that stage. Now we just got to work every single day to try and get back to that point and I think experience will be key."
Williams, who signed with the University of South Florida on signing day, experienced the glory of a state title his freshman year. This is his last shot at another championship, and he agreed last year's experience will fuel 2018.
"It keeps us humble," said the 6 foot 7 guard. "We know we worked hard last year but we came up short. We got to work even hard to get back and hopefully we can take it home next year."
Friday the Cougars get to prove just how much they grew this summer.
They play Wilcox County in a state championship rematch at Phillips Arena in Atlanta at 1 p.m.
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