As the West Lauderdale Knights hit the practice field, Head Coach Stan McCain and his team leaders have one number on their minds: 48.
"It stems from the fact that there's 48 minutes in the game. We want to play all 48 minutes," says McCain. "I think last year we got caught not playing 48 minutes and should have won some games that we didn't win, because we didn't play the whole game"
"Last year, we had some opportunities to finish the game," says senior running back Jonathan Williams. "We played Quitman. We was up 21-0 at half-time. The second half we didn't come out and play like we're supposed to. This year, we're going to change that. Forty-eight minutes in a game... we're going to play all 48."
Williams and Noah Nix will give the knights a powerful combination at the running back position behind an offensive line that returns four starters.
"The linemen should have more experience than last year, and they should know what's coming up against them," says Williams. "[They] should be alright."
Junior Tyler Turnage will step in at quarterback. He played almost half of the 2012 season when then-starter Richard Thomas went down with injury.
"You know he has got a comfort level now that he didn't have when he first started last year," says McCain of his quarterback. "He's going to be pretty consistently accurate."
Defensively, the Knights are strong in the secondary, but they'll have a new corps of linebackers and a defensive line that still hasn't taken form.
"We're rolling about six or seven in there, and we just haven't right now found three that stand out," says the head coach. "We've got one that stands out, but the other five or six or seven, you know, they're pretty equal now, so it might be that we just play six or seven of them."
If rotating six defensive lineman brings a victory, that's all that matters to coaches and players alike.
"Nobody looks at them self as a superstar. We all play as a team," says senior receiver Tyrin Henry. "We all encourage each other, and we all pick each other up when we're down. I know my senior year... I'm not going to let us go down the drain."