Year one of the Ed Redmond era at Western Albemarle was a rousing success. The Warriors lost just once in the regular season on their way to the Jefferson District title and Redmond was Coach of the Year in that Jefferson District.
Now the trick for the Warriors is maintaining that level of success they've created for themselves.
"Well you know I think we just have to go out everyday and work at it," Redmond said. "Last year's over and again, our approach is going to be one day at a time and try to be the best we can be."
"It's kind of fun having that target on your back," senior Nic Drapanas added. "Every time the opponent is bringing their "A" game. We're the team to beat so we're always getting a good game. We're just going to have to step up."
The Warriors hopes of a repeat rest mainly on the shoulder pads of senior quarterback Kent Henry, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year in the JD, and the unquestioned voice of the team.
"We actually had a meeting and we talked about what we want as a team and how we have to achieve those goals so everyone has to show up everyday and give 110% and we just have to go out there and do it.," Henry said.
"He's a leader on and off the field. We're certainly pleased to have him for one more year and there's some pretty good expectations for him," Redmond added.
And there's some pretty good expectations for the team as well.
In addition to Henry, the Warriors will also feature All-JD first-team receiver Drapanas, and a ball-hawking secondary, including Drapanas and Steven Hearn.
The Warriors made it all the way to the Region II semifinals before bowing out to JD rival Monticello in a rematch of a regular season game Western won handily.
Despite that JD Championship, the Warriors say they're not happy to rest on what happened last year -- and think they could be even better this year.
"You know it's hard to tell with this year's team because it's still early and the guys last year were amazing," Henry admitted. "I think we have the potential to repeat that, we just have to see with time."
However, Henry's fellow senior is a lot more confident in the team's outlook.
"Oh I think we can be better than last year. A whole lot better," Drapanas said. "We had that talent last year and we have a lot of guys that really wanted to get on the field and be a part of that success and it's just a great thing to have."