PELL CITY — Coming off a nine-win season in Leeds' first season in Class 5A since 1989, third-year head coach Jerry Hood is hoping for another good year.
The Greenwave posted an eight-game win streak at one point on its way to going 9-3, finishing second in Region 6 and making the second round of the playoffs. That's Leeds' most victories since winning 13 in 2015.
The Greenwave cruised past Boaz 21-0 in the first round, but fell to Russellville a week later 35-14.
Hood said while it doesn’t hurt to have success in the previous season, each team is unique.
“As I tell the kids, you have to earn everything you got,” Hood said during St. Clair County’s media day Friday. “(This year), you’re no longer going to be the bad team that somebody didn’t really prepare for as well as they should have. Now, you’re a known commodity so you’re going to get everybody’s best punch, so we better be better than we were last year to accomplish whatever goals we might have.”
The head coach emphasized that while the Greenwave lost two players on their offensive line, they have quite a few returning players and are an overall experienced team.
“They have a lot of game experience, which is why I decided not to do spring training and take an extra week in the summer,” Hood said, adding his team started their first official practice Monday. “I’m interested to see how we do.”
Hood added that every year, he hopes his players accomplish the same goal, putting their best foot forward.
“For me, it's always the same thing. I want to see a group of guys come together, love each other and try to give their heart and soul every single day, to win that day and then we’ll worry about the next day,” Hood said.
“If we do all that, the wins happen and if we fail to do that, we will lose. So we don’t really focus on the win or lose, we just wanna do as good as we can do.”
The Greenwave will kick off its regular season at home against Sylacauga on Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.