LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - After an up and down season that resulted in missing the Class 5A playoffs last year, the North Laurel Jaguars are back this season with more experience as they try to improve on a sub .500 season.
"Last year we really didn't have much experience, probably one senior that played the year before," said senior quarterback/safety Dalton Sizemore. "But this year we should have a whole lot more experience and most of our line is coming back, so it should be better."
"That's the bonus of them knowing what to do as opposed to guessing and having to do it every single day," said North Laurel football head coach Chris Larkey. "Now we can expand the offense and do more stuff than what we did last year."
"We're gonna have to play really hard," said junior lineman Hayden Smith. "We're gonna have a tougher schedule than we did last year, but I think that if we play hard, it'll pay off."
A year ago, North laurel was coming off of a 9-3 season but returned only six seniors. This year, the Jags have plenty returning as they try to improve on missing the playoffs.
This season, North Laurel has 25 seniors returning from a team that went 4-6, and winless in their district. However, head coach Chris Larkey believes that the experience will help the Jaguars get back into the playoffs.
"It's not gonna hurt us, only having six seniors," said Larkey. "We got a bunch more kids coming back this year, which is always a bonus and they already know what to do. Last year they didn't know what to do. They were inexperienced on Friday nights, and this year they've got that experience under their belt, so I think they'll do a lot better job."
The road to the playoffs will be a tough one for the Jaguars, as they gain a new district opponent in cross-county rival, South Laurel.
They will see similar foes in Whitley County, last year's region champions Pulaski County and Southwestern who lost in the region title game.
North Laurel takes on Paul Laurence Dunbar on the road for week one of the season.