Making the postseason is always the goal, almost an expectation for the Madison County football team. Last season, the Mountaineers did make the playoffs, but they barely made it, and finished with a 3-8 record.
This year, Madison brings back senior James Graves at quarterback, who now has two years of experience as a starter. He'll be protected by an experienced offensive line, with four of five starters back from last year. But Graves says in camp, his team is still working on the basics.
"I mean first we have to figure out who the leaders are going to be, because people have to step up each year." he said. "You've just got to build each other's trust and get that up."
According to head coach Stuart Dean, his seniors are already emerging as leaders.
"All of them I think are three-year starters and have been around the program for a long time, played all the way through JV," Dean said. "We've really gotten to know them really well. It's their time, their senior year, and they're really looking forward to it."
"I believe in leading by example, so being the first one to water and back, always hopping in my position and going as hard as I can all the time," senior running back and linebacker Demaun Minor said.
The Mountaineers won just three games last season, finishing with a 3-7 regular season record and falling in the first round of the the playoffs to Wilson Memorial. Heading into a new season, their goals are pretty simple.
"Win a few football games, hopefully," Graves said. "Hopefully we win a lot of them."
"Coming into my last year, it's really a big factor for me to get farther in playoffs then we have in a while, and kind of push the guys to do the same thing and want the same thing," added Minor.
The team is putting in the work now to give themselves a chance at a postseason run in November, but Dean is still keeping them focused on September 5th.
"We're concentrating on Luray, that first game. We want to be ready for that and be successful in that game and make sure we're ready and prepared, and ready for that first Friday night."