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Commentary by Nick Trail
Week zero of the high school football season is in the books. Coffee County Central suffered a tough 41-7 defeat to Shelbyville, arguably one of the best teams in 5A.
Same ole’, Same ole’.
Beware Raider fans, this is not the same Coffee County team that went 3-8 last season. They not only have a new defensive coordinator and a new defensive scheme, I believe they also have a new mindset.
As I interviewed players walking off the field, there was not only sadness in their eyes, there was hurt. It certainly did not look like the Coffee County I saw just a week earlier in a 2-0 victory over Lebanon in the jamboree.
Watching practice over the summer I noticed an excitement, especially on the defensive side of the football. Players were hustling to the football in a way I had never seen last season. It was truly refreshing.
Friday night, as I watched Marquis Morton and company gallop for the end zone, I saw Red Raiders in hot pursuit. What even impressed me more was the energy on the sidelines.
The lower classmen cheered on their varsity brothers on every down. Players were telling each other to keep fighting and not get down on themselves. The team needs more vocal leaders, after finding an absence of them last year.
Coach Lee Davis told his team after the defeat, that they had faced a superior opponent, and they had to put this loss behind them over the weekend to prepare for a trip to Marshall County on Friday.
Whether the Shelbyville game will linger in the team’s mind remains to be seen.
Peyton Meeker, Jesse Brown, Deangelo Rozier and Jeffrey Simmons all mentioned to me that they were prepared to have a tough, physical week at practice to prepare for Marshall County.
Brown, even went so far as to make me a promise after the Shelbyville game.
“You will see a different Coffee County team next week at Marshall County. I promise,” stated Brown.
Just by looking at him and hearing the tone of his voice, I knew he was serious and I truly believe him.
Red Raider fans don’t lose hope yet, because these are truly not the same ole’ Red Raiders.