KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- The Seymour Eagles football team reached new heights last season, making the playoffs for the first time in six years and just the second time in 11.
The Eagles enter this season with a young, but hungry team who look to build off of their 6-5 season that ended in the first round of playoffs.
“Last year was the first time we made the playoffs in a while, but I think we can get the young kids ready for it and believe in it,” said defensive end/halfback Baylon Oliver. “I know we can, it’s just getting the young kids to believe in it.”
The Eagles return only three starters on both offense and defense including Oliver, who is poised to have a big year.
“He’s played a lot of football since his freshman year, and was off to a fantastic start last year on the defensive line,” said Seymour head football coach Scott Branton. “He’s become a real problem for people to block. The injury big got him but he’s back to full strength now and has had a good spring and great summer. I’m excited to see what he does this year.”
Coach Branton is tasked with replacing running back Brandon Harris who was a force in the offensive backfield. Branton said replacing Harris will be by committee and they have a few options at running back that he feels confident can handle the football at any point in time.
The Seymour coaching staff is busy this preseason filling open spots on both sides of the ball. Branton said the competition has been great for the team.
“They’ve become very competitive over the last several weeks because they know everything is up for grabs right now,” said Branton. “They’ve been competitive in a good way, they’ve pushed each other but are very positive.”
The Eagles open the season hosting rival Gatlinburg-Pittman on Friday, August 19. The last time these two teams met, the game was decided in overtime with the Eagles winning by one point.