DECATUR, Miss. Newton County High School football has been gearing up for year two under head coach Bobby Bass.
The Cougars compete in the MHSAA under Class 4A. During Bass' first year as head coach last season, the team compiled a 2-9 record with double-digit losses to schools like Quitman and West Lauderdale. Coach Bass shared what he learned after that first season.
"First season as head coach I learned a lot of things," said Bass. "I learned a lot of things to do and a lot of things not to do."
Bass said last year's squad was filled with a lot of young guys who progressed as the season continued, even if the stats didn't show it. With many of those young players having experience under their belt, coach Bass believes they are ready to step up as leaders for the upcoming season.
"We had a great offseason," said Bass. "We've matured, we've gotten bigger, we've gotten faster and we've gotten stronger."
Two players that stand out for the Cougars are junior linebacker Miguel Evans and junior quarterback Damon Mapp. Evans shared what the team's biggest obstacle was last season.
"Individuality. People wanted to play for themselves and not the team," said Evans. "All you can do is your part and hope everybody else falls in line...but the young guys are ready to play this year."
Mapp is anxious to get the pads on as he is ready to be starting quarterback after playing backup to Hayden West last season.
"I've worked hard every day," said Mapp. "If you ask anybody where I'm at I'm down here on the field, in the weight room. I put a lot of commitment into everything I do so I can be better for my team."
The Cougars open the season Aug. 23 on the road vs. Leake Central.