After a one-win season in his debut as head coach at Charlottesville, Eric Sherry went about remolding the Black Knights into a winning program, capable of making it to the postseason.
Since that time, CHS has made it to the postseason twice, albeit getting knocked out in the first round each time.
The Knights were on the practice field Thursday for the first time this season, trying to take that next-level jump. Sherry has created a winning culture at Charlottesville, and now the players say it's up to them to maintain that level of success in order to each the next round.
"If you remember our first year we only won like one game and after that Coach Sherry came back in and changed our whole mindset on how we're going to go about things, how we're going to play defense, how we're going to do stuff on offense, so it changed a lot," senior Troy Hughes said of his group's mindset.
Sherry says the Knights' recent success has put his team on the radar in the Jefferson District.
"Year Four, these kids all understand, even the ones coming from Buford (Middle School), what we expect of them so there's probably a little bit of a bullseye on our backs now," Sherry said. "So that's a healthy thing."
Sherry will have a 2013 second-team All-JD running back at his disposal in junior Rashad Brock and a defense that returns eight starters from a year ago.
Sherry says that defense improved over the last few games of 2013 and will be counted on to be a strength in 2014.
"We got better on the things we needed to get better on and with defense it's focus and it's real simple, it comes down to tackling," Sherry explained. "And we did get better at those things and I'm hoping it can start a lot earlier this year."
"We've all been playing together for 3-4 years so we all know what everybody's thinking and we all can depend on each other to do what we need to do so I think the defense is one of our strongest suits," added senior nose tackle Alley Jensen.