Since winning the District 8-AA championship in 2009, the Cannon County football team has managed just one win in the past three seasons.
The Lions enter 2013 having lost 20 straight games and for a 1-29 record since 2010.
Several factors will determine whether the team will be able to reverse those trends this year and none will be more important than the players’ response to the group’s third coach in three seasons.
T.J. Daniel, who is a Cannon County native, takes over for Brent Bush as head coach and has charged himself with the task of turning around his alma mater.
Here are five things to know about Cannon County’s football team for the 2013 season.
1. New coach, new schemes
Daniel, who was the team’s offensive coordinator last season, takes over as head job. He didn’t do himself any favors by switching the Lions’ base sets on both sides of the ball.
CCHS will employ the Wing-T on offense this year, a change from the two-tight end and I-formation packages the group ran last year.
Defensively, the Lions used five-down linemen in 2012. They’ll change to a 4-3 scheme this year.
2. Daniel trio
It will be a family affair for the Lions in 2013, as Daniel gets the opportunity to coach both of his younger brothers.
B.J. Daniel, a senior, will be the team’s No. 1 option in the Wing-T offense. He’s nine years younger than T.J.
A.J. Daniel, a junior, will be the team’s starting quarterback. He’s 10 years younger than T.J.
3. Reversing trends
Not only have the Lions won just once in the last three seasons, but the team didn’t even compete in most of its games either.
CCHS averaged just 8.1 points per game on offense and allowed 37.6 points per game on defense last year.
The team has been shut out five times during its 20-game losing streak while losing by an average margin of 34.5 points per game.
Just once in the last 20 games has the team lost by less than 21 points.
4. Staying healthy
Only 43 players are listed on the team’s schedule and eight of them are freshmen.
With a lack of depth on both sides of the ball, keeping players healthy is a must.
Regardless, nearly every starter will be asked to play both sides of the ball at some point this season.
5. Gettable early schedule
If the Lions are going to be able to end their two-year winless drought, it will likely happen in the group’s first five games of the season.
Trips to Middle Tennessee Christian and Red Boiling Springs in CCHS’ first three games give the team two winnable games on paper.
A Week 5 home game versus Watertown could be the final chance at a win before the team’s final five-game stretch toughen significantly.