SUNBRIGHT, Tenn. (WVLT) -- There's reason for optimism at Sunbright this fall.
20 returning starters is why.
After going thru the fire last year (3-7), Tigers head coach Scott Stephens is hoping his team now has the experience to make the next step and make the playoffs.
2012 featured a Tiger squad that was predominantly freshmen and sophomores. Now a year older, there's reason to believe Sunbright could be a playoff team.
But staying healthy will be key. When you play in the state's smallest classification, depth really isn't a part of the football vocabulary.
The Tigers' roster will feature just 25 players or so.
"We can't have any injuries," Stephens said.
"When you have 15 or 16 kids that are actually gonna play for you on both sides of the ball and special teams, then you have to get thru the year without losing one or two of them. After you lose the second one, things just go down hill from there."
Lacking depth, conditioning is a must at Sunbright.
"We've been working all spring on getting in shape and not letting up," quarterback Jacob Swint said. "Even thru the fourth quarter, we're just gonna keep on going and play everybody as hard as we did in the first."
Stephens describes his offense as "wide-open," yet he says it's still a balanced offense, so expect the Tigers to run it as much as they do pass.
Sunbright open ups the season August 23 at The King's Academy.
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