COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — New Hope was arguably the greatest comeback story of the season last year in the state of Mississippi.
The Trojans were just 4-7 in 2013 but made a remarkable turn-around in one season, finishing 10-3 and winning the school’s first playoff game since 2010.
Now in the 2nd year under head coach Kris Pickle, the Trojans continue to evolve to their coach.
|CLASS 5A | REGION 1
|HEAD COACH: KRIS PICKLE
“The biggest difference from year one to year two is just knowing the system,” coach Pickle said. “Any time you come into your second year, you’ll have a better understanding offensively and defensively. I think the familiarity with the coaching staff and players is the biggest thing.”
“I think the enthusiasm is great,” senior Brandon McKay said. “Getting out and working hard is good. We’re are a young team.”
It is a very youthful squad going into 2015 at New Hope.
A strong senior class graduated from a season ago. That unit helped get the Trojan football program back on track.
For this season, the inexperience may actually be a good thing for New Hope..
“We’re young but we’re competitive,” Pickle said. “We have a bunch of guys that like to compete. The saying goes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. We have a bunch of young guys we have to teach from scratch. We had 26 seniors last year, we have a bunch of new guys but a bunch of talented guys we’re excited about.
“It’s fun coming out here every day trying to get better,” senior C.J. Clay said. “Trying to prove to ourselves and to the coaches and to our community. We have a new attitude and the new guys are hungry. We just have to pad up and show up. ”
With plenty of talent returning this season and some new faces, the Trojans aim to try and out-do what they did in 2014.
That tall task certainly won’t be easy, but the marker laid down by last year’s team has set New Hope on the track for success in the postseason for the future.
“Of course we want to make it to the state championship,” McKay said. “But we’re taking it one week at a time. Ultimate goal is a state championship.”
“We started last year 7-0 and finished the year 10-3,” Pickle said. “I felt like we had some unfinished business and I thought we didn’t play well against Pearl and we had a shot.
“Our goal is to compete for district championships every year and if we do that in our division we play West Point, Oxford, Saltillo and Center Hill we’re right there in the middle of it.”
New Hope will begin 2015 on the road at Louisville then return home to face Aberdeen the following week.