Two straight losing seasons has Dawson County out to prove something.
With 14 starters returning from a team that finished third to a pair of teams that only beat the Tigers by a touchdown in 2007, motivation won’t be hard to come by.
"We are excited about this year," Dawson County coach Jeff Lee said. "We feel like we are faster than most of the region and could do well."
Leading the way offensively will be two quarterbacks in junior Chase Gilreath and sophomore Ethan Brown.
Both got snaps in the 2007 season, and both have positive attributes to bring to the offense.
"They are a big portion of how we do," Lee said. "Gilreath has a strong arm and Brown hardly makes mistakes."
Hardly making mistakes will come in handy running an offense based on reads and audibles.
Lee expects his quarterbacks to put their units in the right play and execute that play.
Another advantage Lee feels his team has offensively is depth, which has been lacking the past couple of years.
"We haven’t been able to rest guys in the past, but this year we are two deep at our skill positions," Lee said. "With the type of offense we run that is going to be huge to be able to keep kids fresh mentally and physically."
Defensively, the Tigers will rely on team speed.
"We are not big," Lee said. "But we are fast and much more physical than we were last year."
The defense will be anchored by linebacker Nick Tobias.
"He’s the strongest guy we have, and he uses his quickness to run to the ball," Lee said.
Senior David Scully will handle all of the kicking duties for the Tigers. Following in the footsteps of his predecessor Chad Cunningham, who currently kicks for the University of Tennessee, Scully is being recruited by schools out of the ACC and SEC.
"He’s a true kicker," Lee said. "It’s a huge advantage to have confidence calling his name for a 45-yard field goal and know that on kickoffs, every team will start on the 20."