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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Playoff seasons don’t come around too often for the Falcons.

Columbus has the talent and aspirations to change all of that.

For just the second time in a decade last year, Columbus qualified for the playoffs and showed the state

For just the second time in a decade last year, the Columbus Falcons qualified for the playoffs and showed the state the Falcons can fly and reach new heights at any time.

This season, Columbus hopes they can fly even higher with the talent returning from 2012.

“We feel like we have a pretty good team,” head coach Tony Stanford said.  “We have seven starters back on defense, and six on offense. We feel like the defensive front and offensive lines are our two strong points right now. We’re excited about the season. We think we have a chance to have a good year.”

“We’re a team led by seniors,” senior quarterback Trace Lee said.  “We have all the offensive line back. We have receivers with not much experience but at the same time I’m expecting a lot out of them, as well as me. We have a lot of experience so it’s up to whether we play up to our potential or not.”

One of those talented players on the Falcon squad is senior quarterback Trace Lee, who’s ready to break out in his final season at Columbus High.

“He’s a very good football player and he has a great mind for the game,” Stanford said.  “He can make changes on the field for us. After two years of it, he has an idea of what we’re trying to do and get us in the right situations. It’s great to have senior quarterback who knows what he’s doing.”

“Coach Stanford has given me a lot of responsibility as a quarterback,” Lee said.  “I give God the glory for the responsibilities he’s given me as a leader on and off the field. I have to lead these guys with my actions and when I have to be vocal, I am vocal. “

Columbus isn’t satisfied with just qualifying for the postseason though. The Falcons have aspirations to go farther as they join a new region with new competition for 2013.

“You always want that State Championship,” Lee said. “That’s always the goal. More than that, we can’t be satisfied with just being in the playoffs. Last year, that’s how we were. We got to the first round and that was it. We have to get farther and build on that.”

“We want to advance to the second and third rounds and get all the way to Jackson,” coach Stanford said. “We feel like we have the talent this year to move in the playoffs. We have to first of all make the playoffs and operate from there.”

Columbus will kick things off next Friday at Noxubee County before prepping for the district schedule with New Hope, West Point, and Louisville.

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