EARLY COUNTY, GA. (WDHN) — Just across the Chattahoochee lies Early County High School.

And after a year full of covid, heartbreak, and tough competition. They lose 24 seniors before gaining 18 back this season. The Bobcats are fighting forward with the memories of last season.

“The first game of the year I had to coach in my vehicle out here by the track with the windows rolled up. But I had a headset that I could talk, so I was fortunate enough to be able to see some of the game and help,” stated Head Coach Joel Harvin.

Unfortunately, covid wasn’t the only battle that Early County faced, because one of those 24 seniors was facing a battle bigger than some hearts can handle.

Tyler Winns lost his battle with cancer on February 11, 2022, and the man he was is what Coach Harvin remembers most.

“The last few weeks of him being here he was still, worried about completing his school work after giving the prognosis that he would only have three to four weeks. He wasn’t worried about poor pitiful me or anything like that. It was I need to get my work done.”

After facing the music, the Bobcats finished 4-6 on the season, losing in the first round of playoffs in the last 43 seconds. A move down into the Single A Division ll and the memory of Tyler Winns is what has this team inspired for this season and that’s why this year’s goal.

“Make it to the state championship, play in Atlanta at our Center Park Stadium. That’s our goal and we want to make sure that number 14 is going to go with us.”

The Bobcats start their season off on August 19th in Colquitt, Ga against Miller County.