ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — Basketball season is here and the Enterprise Wildcats will try to claw their way back to the state title game for the second year in a row.
The Wildcats are coached by Rhett Harrelson, an Enterprise alumni who’s trying to reach new heights with his alma mater.
Last season was a historic one for the Wildcats, reaching the state title game for the first time in school history.
They fell just short of winning a ring, dropping the state championship game 41-37 against Oak Mountain.
While they’re proud of their historic run last year, the Wildcats aren’t looking back.
“We’re a totally new team,” Harrelson said. “We’re trying to focus on this team and not so much last year’s team and the success we had last year. We’re trying to create our own identity.”
Last year’s team graduated five seniors, three of whom were starters, but many who still remain on the team have plenty of varsity experience.
“We have been working on coming back stronger,” senior Elijah Terry said. “We’re not really trying to look into it too much, but just make up for our mistakes. We’re way more athletic than last year.”
Along with athleticism and a motivation to finally get that ring the Wildcats have something more on their side.
“I think our chemistry honestly, because we have a lot of talent,” senior Tomar Hobdy said. “I believe our chemistry will be the thing this year.”
It’s early in the season but Coach Harrelson is already impressed with his team’s work ethic.
Harrelson graduated from Enterprise in 2012 and then went on to play division one basketball for Western Carolina.
He always knew he wanted to coach and when the opportunity presented itself at his alma mater in 2017 he knew it was the right fit.
“It means something to be a Wildcat and I’m truly honored and grateful to be the coach here where I played,” Harrelson said.
The players are happy to have him
“He’s a young coach so he can relate to us pretty well,” Hobdy said.
“He just wants to play each and every game like its our last and not take nothing for granted,” Terry said.
Harrelson’s senior year at Enterprise the team made it to the elite eight of the state playoffs.
Now, as a fifth year head coach of the Wildcats, Harrelson and his team are shooting to go all the way.
“It was an awesome run and a heck of a year that we had last year making it in the state finals,” Harrelson said. “You can’t really look at it as a failure. We had a great year and it was a successful year, but we also want to be able to finish this thing out.”
“I want to get that state championship this year,” Hobdy said.
“A ring,” Terry said. “That’s what I want.”