Oneida leaning on depth in first year under coach Jimmy May

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Oneida Indians are kicking off the 2021 season under new leadership.

Jimmy May spent the last decade as the Indians offensive coordinator but is taking on a bigger role this year as the Indian’s head coach.

“My dad coached there for a long time, the stadium is named after my father. You want to be successful if you’re last name is out there too,” May said. “I expect a lot out of myself.”

May said the transition has been smooth with the players already familiar with him and his coaching style.

“I’ve been a coach with Keith Henry at Oneida before, now I’m by myself. It’s been good, busy. It’s a lot of work but I’ve enjoyed it,” May said.

Oneida is coming off of a 4-6 record last season, losing in the first round of the 2A state playoffs to Hampton. This year, the Indians are working to contend for a region championship.

“The goal is to compete, but we’re really looking forward for a chance to play for a region championship,” senior offensive tackler Xavier Shoemaker said.

“We always want to compete for region championship and play for it,” May said. “Then we go from there, get into playoffs and see what we can do.”

The Indians are returning six starters on both sides of the ball.

For any offense, it all starts up front and May said their offensive line should be the offense’s strength this season. The Indians have been using two quarterbacks, who should have plenty of targets to choose from. The team’s depth at wide receiver is something Oneida has not had the luxury of in the past.

On the other side of the ball May said the unit is deep, especially at defensive back.

“We’ve got more kids that can play, so I think that will help with fatigue during ball games. We’re using the same system coach Lambert used. I worked with him for a number of years. For the kids, it hasn’t been that big of a change for them,” May said. “They’ve picked up everything pretty fast, it’s been good for them.”

Oneida opens the season playing Williamsburg in the Cumberland Falls Bowl. The game will be played at Corbin High School in Kentucky. The game kicks off at 6p.m. Friday, Aug. 20.

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