MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Lee High School Generals, like many others, are chasing the goal of being the team that holds the AHSAA Class 7A championship football trophy in December. And also like many others, they were on the field for the first time Monday since the spring.
"New year - 2018 year - and the guys are enthused about it. We waited a long time for this opportunity to get back on the grass. Haven't had an opportunity to touch the field since April and May, so the kids are really enthused about it and we've been waiting for this opportunity," said head football coach Tyrone Rogers.
The Generals were bounced from the 7A playoffs last year in the second round by Central Phenix City. Finishing at 7-4 in 2017, coach Rogers has a good feeling about his team this year and said they returned a little better than they left in the spring to make a run this fall.
"A lot of confidence from last year. The guys that left our program did some great things here and so now it's these guys' opportunity to come out and do something great this year and they're looking forward to it," said Rogers. "They're working hard, put in a great offseason, gained some weight, got a little faster and so now it's an opportunity to get out here, put it to work and put it to the test."
Coach Rogers is looking towards some key guys to lead the team this year. Guys like Tedarrian "Tee" Murray, Cladarius Pickett and Phillip Hopkins. One of the main reasons is because of the experience the three have gotten from playing. Rogers is looking for those guys to take that experience and use it to make the team better in 2018.
"They've had a lot battle-tested games, they put a lot of experience. So that wisdom, that experience is going to bring a lot to this football team this year; so we're just looking for those guys to continue to bring it to another level," coach Rogers said.
On Murray specifically, coach Rogers knows a lot of teams will be keyed in on him in the backfield, so his solution is to spread the wealth among all of the talent he has.
"I think we're going to have to be a good team by committee this year. We have a lot of guys that's capable of being able to do some good things, but he's one of our leaders definitely," said Rogers. "We're going to be looking to him to do some good things this year, but we have to distribute everything and make sure it's kind of even-balanced, so teams won't kind of key in on him all the time."
Lee's first test of the season will come on the road at Park Crossing High School. That game kicks at 7 p,.m. on Aug. 24.