KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- The Fulton Falcons are coming off a successful 8-4 season with a berth in the second round of playoffs. The Falcons enter the season with a new head football coach in Jeff McMillan. While Fulton has not reached the semifinals since they last won it all in 2014, the standard remains the same: winning a state title.
“Our expectations at Fulton never change, our standards never change. We’re going to compete for state titles every year and that’s our mindset,” said McMillan. “Do we get there every year? No, we don’t but that’s the mindset and that’s the way we go about our business. It’s worked and it’s not going to change.”
McMillan was previously the co-defensive coordinator for the Falcons and was promoted to the head coaching position to replace Rob Black. This is McMillan’s second stint as a head football coach, previously leading the Carter Hornets.
“Coach Mack will help this team and get us to the right place the same way Coach Black did,” said senior running back Daveon Shenault.
The Falcons’ overall numbers are up hosting 50 kids on the team; however, this year’s squad will be young in experience only returning three starters on offense and four on defense.
“The thing about our kids, they might not have a whole lot of experience, but they’ll compete. They’re going to go out and play hard and compete and they love to compete,” said McMillan.
The Falcons’ offense will be led by do-it-all athlete Marcellus Jackson who took over at quarterback mid-season. Jackson has put in the work in the offseason to transform himself into a complete quarterback.
“When we first had to put him back there, we basically just ran our wildcat package that we already had in for him but until the end of the season,” said McMillan. “He developed his passing game a lot better and now he knows how to make reads and things like that.”
Opposing defenses will be tasked with stopping the “two-headed monster” in Jackson and running back Daveaon Shenault.
“We’re going to run a lot of zone reads and stuff like that and you have to defend both of them. It’s going to be hard to deal I think,” said McMillan.
The Falcons open the season hosting Austin-East on Friday, August 19.