EARLY COUNTY, Ga. (WDHN) — Just over the Chattahoochee River, the Early County Bobcats are trying to build off of a solid season last year to make a deeper playoff run this year.

The Bobcats were 7-3 last year, came in third in their region and made it to the second round of Georgia’s state playoffs.

Fifth year Head Coach Joel Harvin says this year’s goal is to build off of last, win their region and make a deep run in the playoffs.

“What we do is try and maintain our standard,” Harvin said. “That’s be on time, be at practice every day and when we’re at practice trying to give the best that we can and that’s the way we kind of maintain what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Twenty-two seniors are returning for the Bobcats, but three key running backs graduated last year.

As of now, the team hasn’t declared a starter and is trying out three or four guys at each position.

“The more we have at one position, it’s going to be a little bit more competitive to get the best out of each individual kid,” Harvin said. “The other thing is if one goes down, we’ve got one that understands the offense, we don’t have to take a step back, we just keep moving forward.”

Harvin also says most of the guys will have to play both sides of the ball because of small numbers.

But this season will be more than just about the wins and losses for the Bobcats.

They’re playing for a team member overcoming a major obstacle.

Senior football and basketball player Tyler Winns was diagnosed with bone cancer back in Janurary.

He’s currently doing chemo and radiation, but when he’s not he’s with his team.

“He’s one of the best kids that I’ve ever had,” Harvin said. “Just to see the stuff that he goes through. He shows up, when he’s not doing chemo and radiation. He comes to practice and he just wants to be a part.”

Harvin and the Early County community are hoping Winns will ring the bell, beating cancer, at the end of this month.

Early County will kick off their season at home against Seminole County on August 20.