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|CLASS 4A | REGION 1
|HEAD COACH: Andy Crotwell
|Sept 11||South Pontotoc||Away|
|Sept 25||Calhoun City||Away|
|Oct 9||New Albany*||Home|
|Oct 16||Tishomingo Co.*||Away|
ECRU, Miss. (WCBI) — Coming off a 7-5 record in 2019, North Pontotoc locked in its 7th straight winning season. However, that isn’t enough for the Vikings. Last year, they relied heavily on the defense. This season expect the team to have a new identity and approach on offense as they look to turn their game up a notch.
“We got more new stuff we’re going to run this year,” senior running back and cornerback Tyler Hill said. “I feel pretty confident about that and defense is really stout this year.”
“This year we feel a lot more comfortable about where we’re at offensively,” head coach Andy Crotwell explained. “The offensive line is back intact. Got some experience at quarterback. Our two leading rushers are back. We got some experience at receiver. There’s some new guys in the mix as well. We’ll be a lot more of an attacking style on offense and be able to be more aggressive. I still feel pretty good about the defense.”
“I think we’ll have a lot more experience,” senior offensive lineman Bo Rainer said. “We’ve done this before so we should feel more comfortable on offense this year.”
A strength for the Vikings offense will be the offensive line. They return four starters who all know the system.
“It helps because we got some guys who have been there and done it and know what to expect and know what we’re looking for,” Crotwell said. “Feel real comfortable with what we’re doing. You always want offensive linemen who are bored when you go over rules because they know it by heart. That’s a good feeling.”
“We know what to do,” Rainer explained “We’ve been here before. We try to be the leaders of the team and show the younger guys what to do. How to do it. How we expect to play on Fridays.”
Experience brings about confidence. Something the Vikings have as they enter the season.
“I think we were really young last year,” Rainer said. “We’ve all played a lot more minutes from last year. I think with more experience we’re ready for it.”
“Having more self confidence about each other and ourselves,” Hill said. “Last season, we had a tough year. Some players not confident about themselves. We’re pretty good this year about ourselves.”
That experience has created a culture where the players come into workouts full of energy, ready to work in hopes of proving themselves on Friday nights.
“I don’t feel like there’s a day where our energy was poor this summer so I’m excited to see them in fall camp,” Crotwell said.
“A bunch of us our back,” Rainer added. “We all played together for a long time. We just come out here and have fun, play as hard as we can, and try to do the best we can.”
North Pontotoc starts the season on the road against Bruce, September 4th.