NEWPORT, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Cocke County High School was one of the feel good stories of the 2011 football season.
After an eight year absence from the playoffs, the Fighting Cocks broke thru and reached the postseason last year.
"We went thru spring and there was a lot of excitement, now they're counting down the days until we start again in the fall," head coach Greg Hacker said.
"You can always tell that's an exciting thing because they're talking. If they weren't excited, they wouldn't be talking."
Now the trick for Hacker is keeping that momentum alive.
A good portion of the team does return to try to make that happen. Cocke County has seven starters coming back on defense, five on offense, including talented running back D.J. Haney.
Haney echoes his head coach's thoughts that there's a positive attitude now-a-days concerning Cocke Co. football.
"You walk thru the neighborhood and you meet people you've never seen before," Haney said. "They just come up to you and ask you how this season is gonna go and stuff. It's a good feeling."
Cocke County opens up the year August 17 at Claiborne County. The Fighting Cocks won last year's game 33-0.