SAVANNAH – The 2013 season was a fun year for Hardin County High head football coach Matt Smith and his staff.
The Tigers were an experienced group with plenty of offensive weapons who were part of the system for two or three years coming into the season.
“Everybody knew their role for the most part before we started spring,” Smith said. “That makes the early part of the offseason a little easier in that respect.”
Smith and his coaching staff are having a different kind of enjoyment this season as they’re bringing in a younger group that’s learning how to do different things.
Some of the weapons of the past couple of years are still there. Cal Gobbell was an All-West Tennessee first team selection last year at receiver as a sophomore, and he’s back for two more years.
But there will be plenty of new faces under the helmets taking the field, particularly on the offensive side.
“We’re a younger, more inexperienced group this year,” Smith said. “But they’ve displayed a good work ethic and made a lot of progress, and we’re excited to see them take the field this fall.”
For the most part, a lot of the skill players are back on both sides of the ball, although the loss of quarterback Kendall Adkisson, running back Blakney Austin and receiver David Gobbell will be felt for the Tigers. But the loss of linemen like Sage Stockton, Barry Bonee and Aaron Dennis will be felt even more.
“Line on both sides will be a concern, but we’ve got guys stepping up to fill those roles,” Smith said. “We’ll work with them and get them ready to go before the season gets here.”
Memphis Northside will be in Savannah on Aug. 22 to open Hardin County’s season.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751
Hardin County Tigers
• 2013 record: 6-5
• Hardin County will end the season with three straight home games against Dyer County, Bolivar and Munford.
• The Tigers are coming off a season when they finished second in District 13-AAA and automatically qualified for the Class 5A playoffs.