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HAMILTON, Miss. (WCBI Sports) – Hamilton head coach Ray Weeks is in his 10th season at Hamilton. This year, the Lions move down to 1A.

“This some great competition, some great teams and we’re looking forward to it,” Weeks said. “We’ve played some of the teams before so some of those old rivalries that we haven’t played in a while will be back.”

Vardaman, Faulkner are schools Hamilton hasn’t played frequently in a while. This season, seven starters return on both sides of the ball for Weeks. As for any 1A school, depth will be an issue but he’s got a lot of guys coming back.

“Oh yeah it does, definitely, it does and hopefully those guys will help the other guys too so we create some depth, but having that experience is a big plus,” Weeks said.

And there are eight seniors as well. The Lions lost in the first round of the playoffs. This year will see a two quarterback system, with packages for both Byron Butler and Quinshay Heard. The offseason is about staying healthy and getting in shape.

“Just to get a little big stronger in the weight room and get a little bit healthier. Last year injuries took a toll on us so I think if we work a little bit in the weight room that will help,” Weeks said.

The players were honest with us, not declaring a state title game win, but still setting their sites on Jackson, and saying they just want to get better.

“There is no expectations. We want to be the best we can be and, you know, of course every team is Jackson,” senior running back Pallas Fair said. “That’s where they want to be and that’s our strive to be better and better and try to get to that point.”

“We have had a lot of players to step up and physically we are getting there and mentally we’re not there yet, but we just got to come out here everyday and just try our hardest” junior defensive back Tanner Dement said.

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