CHURCH HILL, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Falcons had their hands full last season as part of a stacked 4A Region 1 – competing with the likes of Greeneville and Elizabethton.

Volunteer fell to their new region foes, the Greene Devils and Cyclones, but so did most teams. When the dust settled at the end of the year, the program emerged as the third-place team in that region with a regular season record of 6-4.

With those six victories, the program doubled its win total from a season before. A direct result, head coach Jesse McMillan said, of growth and teamwork.

“We had good kids and had some talented players – some guys that bought into what we’re trying to do down here, which is compete and get better,” he said.

“Last year we all just grew a big bond, so we were all ready to play and we had a really good season – great coaching as well,” senior left tackle Jackson Barrett said.

Despite the loss of a few seniors, the program returns an experienced offensive line, as well as some athletic skill players – and they’re all hungry to repeat and build upon last year’s success.

“You know, they’ve been there and I think if you’re a competitive person the next thing you’re going to want to do is take that next step.” McMillan said.

“We definitely have a lot of motivation – I mean people are still doubting us just because we’ve lost a couple guys,” senior quarterback and safety Riley Littleton said. “But you know, we’ve just all been working hard – we’re expecting the same thing this year, to make the playoffs.”

That quest to return to the postseason begins at West Ridge on Friday, August 19.