GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The South Greene Rebels found themselves in unfamiliar territory on the gridiron in 2022.

In the regular season, the squad lost as many games as they won, entering the Class 2A playoffs with a 5-5 record. The postseason began with a resounding win over Rockwood (34-16), but ended a week later in shutout fashion at York Institute (27-0).

“We got better at the end of the year and made a little run at the end,” head coach Shawn Jones said. “Then, didn’t play real well down at York.”

Six wins were the fewest a Rebels team had turned in since 2017 (3).

It wasn’t the outcome they had hoped for, but coming into 2023, the players and coaches all felt last year was building towards something.

Now, that youth and inexperience in spots from a season ago has turned into familiarity and a hunger to succeed.

“That’s what’s been positive this year so far,” Jones said. “And again, getting these guys back. You know, that’s one thing we like is making sure we got these guys back and they got a year under the belt and they’re just excited to get going.”

“Well last year there wasn’t really anybody that had an experience and this year everyone’s got experience,” junior quarterback Jacob Susong said. “So, everybody is learning so much because it was our first year starting pretty much.”

“We have some guys coming up that have been working hard in the offseason in the weight room,” senior running back and slot receiver Conner Race said. “That should be really good when the season comes around. But we’re excited. We’re just we’re ready to play some football.”

South Greene’s string of challenging non-region opponents continues in 2023, as the Rebels open the season at home against David Crockett on Friday at 7 p.m.