HAHIRA, Ga. (WALB) - For 2019, the Valwood Valiants will march onto the field complete with several returning starters and transfers.
“A lot of these guys it’s their first year at Valwood. So, we have a lot of new players and trying to build a bond as a team now. So, really coming together is what we need to focus on," said Long snapper and lineman, Clark Miller.
Head Coach Justin Henderson told us they hit their stride late in the season, last year.
So, they're switching things up in hopes of seeing that same chemistry earlier in the season.
“We’re trying to be simpler this year and add more as we get going," said Henderson.
Miller said they’ve excelled in this new system.
“We’re in a really good spot. I think we are a lot better at this point than we were last year," said Miller.
After the Valiants allowed the most points scored since their 2010 season, the defense remains an area of concern for Henderson.
“We just need to get better up front and once we do that, we’ll be good to go," said Henderson.
For the Valiants to have success on defense this season, they say it starts with the linebackers.
“Just stick together like we have been. This year the whole team is two times closer than we were last year," said running back Blaine Cooper.
With just weeks remaining until the start of the regular season, Henderson's confident they'll be an all-around stronger team.
“I expect us to be a lot better on that side of the ball. Actually, I expect us to be better on both sides of the ball," said Henderson.
In the last eight seasons the Valiants have won six region titles and three state titles.
To bring more of those titles to Valwood, Cooper said there can’t be a shortage of hard work.
“A lot of hard work. I mean like today we’re out here in the sun. It just takes a lot of grind to get to where you want to go," said Cooper.