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HATLEY, Miss. (WCBI Sports)– Some teams want to reach the playoffs, for others the goal is to win it all. But every team’s goal is to win, and that’s something Hatley didn’t do last year.

“Last year was a pretty tough season. We just couldn’t get things together on offense. Defensively it just wasn’t a real good year. I think we’re all working hard in the weight room,” junior lineman Wes Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson said new head coach Patrick Schoolar has the team hitting the weights more and running more this offseason. Schoolar has coached as an assistant at Aberdeen and Amory. Jamie Edwards is one of his assistants and was a part of last year’s staff.

“Coach Schoolar has come in and right now we’re having close to 40 (players) every morning for workouts and they’re working out four days a week and running four days a week,” Edwards said. “He’s put in a new offense that fits our style of kids better and we did some 7-on-7’s this summer and they seem to be getting on board with what he’s wanting to do.”

Hatley remains in 2A but the Tigers will change divisions. They’ll be with schools like Baldwyn, East Union and Mantachie.

Much of the pressure will fall on the shoulders of Jonathan Waitcaster. The senior QB has lived in Australia the past 11 years but is from Mississippi. Edwards says there’s a lot to like about Waitcaster.

“He’s kind of new to football, not only new to us but new to football. This summer he’s really shown a lot of leadership. He’s got a strong arm and can run fairly well,” Edwards said.

“We’re looking for a winning season. That’s the goal and we’re looking for hopefully playoffs,” Waitcaster said. “It’s up on the board, we’ve got it written on the board. That’s probably the biggest goal. We’re striving to get a whole lot better and by the sounds of it and the hard work we’re putting in, I think we’re doing pretty good.”

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