KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Hardin Valley Hawks haven’t made an appearance in the playoffs since the 2018 season. Last year they finished with a 2-8 record.

The offensive backfield looks to be a strength in 2021, junior Caleb Smith returns at quarterback and Ryan Nichol returns to carry the load at running back.

While the Hawks feel like this could be a season where they break through and compete for a spot in the playoffs, coach Mike Potter says they need to take it one step at a time.

“I want us to be competitive each and every Friday night. I want us to come out and give everything from start to finish,” Potter said. “If we do that the scoreboard will take care of itself.”

“We got the offseason we didn’t have last year which I think will be a big help said LB/TE Jacob Greene. “I think we can pull away with some wins hopefully and surprise some people.”

Hardin Valley opens the season on Friday, August 20th when they play host to Karns at 7pm.