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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — After seven years of helping restore New Hope Football, Michael Bradley stepped down in the off season.

Bradley’s move has made way for a new coach to take control of the Trojans. His successor wasn’t too hard to find, as New Hope alum Shawn Gregory takes over a team that’s eager to make its way back to the postseason.

“Any time you come home, you want to put your best foot forward,” coach Shawn Gregory said. “Our kids are excited and they’re taking this seriously. They understand where we are trying to make it.

“I’m very pleased to be back and have this opportunity. We really made some huge strides this off season and our kids are looking forward to the season.”

“Coach Gregory coming in and taking over has helped us out tremendously,” junior quarterback Brady Davis said. “I’m really liking the offense he has brought with him.”

The Trojans aren’t without talent returning this season either. Two-year starter Brady Davis is back at QB along with speedy senior back Brandon Spann.

“We have a couple of seniors returning,” Spann said. “We haven’t lost too many pieces on defense and we have some guys stepping up and making plays in practice. We will be pretty good.”

“We have a lot coming back,” Davis said. “If we lost people, we have someone good taking their spot. I feel good about the team and what we replaced.”

After a rough season last year, the Trojans failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year. It wasn’t too long ago that New Hope played for the 5A north title. That was in 2009.

This season, expectations are tempered but the focus and the mindset is on returning to the postseason.

“Our kids had a rough season last year,” coach Gregory said. “It’s trying to take a young team to another level. It’s a level they haven’t experienced.”

“Basically, we want to make the playoffs,” senior Matthew Barnes said. “We want to have a winning season even though we haven’t done well the past two years.”

Simply put, New Hope wants to be a perennial playoff team once again. And with a new era beginning this season, the sky is the limit for the Trojans.

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