ABBEVILLE, Ala. (WDHN) — After coming up just short of a state title last year the Abbeville Yellow Jackets have their eyes on the prize this season.
The 2020 Class 2A state championship runner-up went 12-2 last year losing only to region opponent Geneva County and Mars Hill in the state championship.
Now that they’ve been there Head Coach LaBrian Stewart believes the experience will encourage his team to play hard this season.
While they learn from experience, the Jackets are focusing on the future.
“I tell them all the time, ‘Used-to-bees don’t make honey,'” Stewart said. “That’s last year and it’s like reading yesterday’s newspaper. Nobody is reading yesterday’s newspaper. We’re appreciative of the support and everything, but our goal is to get back. We have new goals, but our team objectives is the same. We want to win a state championship and I think our kids believe that they can. As coaches we had to go back and prepare and evaluate some things that we didn’t do well in that state championship game, like developing depth in certain areas.”
Stewart says numbers are up from last year. That’s allowing him to move players into different positions better suited for them this season.
Abbeville lost ten seniors, eight of whom received college football scholarship offers.
Now younger players are stepping up to take their shot at making history.
“Those younger kids, they’re hungry and ready to show what they can do. Some of those seniors leaving, they’ll be tough to replace, but you know, at the same time I think that their leadership and our coaches development, off season development, and player development we’ll be fine.”
Stewart also believes playing 15 games instead of only ten last season helped the Yellow Jackets get a head start on 2021.
Abbeville’s season kicks off against in county rival Headland on Aug. 27.