OLIVER SPRINGS, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Oliver Springs didn't make the playoffs last year, but the goods are there for that to change in 2013.
Head coach Wiley Brackett, now in his 8th year at Oliver Springs, has 15 returning starters from last year's 4-6 team. Eight on offense. Seven on defense.
Brackett likes his team's work ethic and closeness, describing Oliver Springs football as a "family atmosphere."
There is a new Bobcat this year in the former of assistant coach Xavier Mitchell. Mitchell is a former Tennessee linebacker.
"We've got Xavier Mitchell, a former UT guy, running the defense now," assistant Tony Kegley said.
"Xavier has done a great job of getting the kids working hard, not just physically, but also getting through that mental grind of the workout."
Depth isn't on the side of the Bobcats, but according to linebacker Dakota Miles, attitude is.
"(Our) work ethic is there. I mean everybody on the team, we love it," Miles said. "We work hard everyday at workouts, we have new coaches and they push us."
Oliver Springs opens up the year August 23 against Unaka.