The teams are warming up. Fans, buying their tickets. The marching band fine-tuning their performance.
In Marion County, it's a season of new opportunities.
Last year, two Marion County assistant coaches, Michael Scmitt and Joe Gudger, vandalized their own team's field house days before a championship game against South Pittsburg High School. Head Coach Mac McCurry is accused of knowing about their plans. All of them were released from their coaching and teaching duties.
Ricky Ross, a longtime coach at Calhoun High School, was named the new Head Coach. He's determined to show these players they deserve more.
"I do understand at times that their trust, they've been let down," says Ross. "So I value the trust that we build and like any relationship, you built it on love and respect. And it develops through time."
Fans are hopeful.
"I think he will be fun to play for. Good guy. Strong character. I would let my son play for him," says former MCHS student and athlete, Jacob Dawson.
"This year, it's all over us. We're ready for a new year. They're ready to play their hearts out," says student Ashley Bailey.
Win or lose... Warrior Nation is proud to be back.
Student Emily Sitz says, "I'm excited to see them play. I'm ready for them to live up to the Marion County name."
Former Assistant Coaches Michael Schmitt and Joe Gudger both plead guilty in January to vandalizing the field house. They received a sentence of 48 hours of community service, and one year of unsupervised probation. Meanwhile, Mac McCurry is now a science teacher at Buckhorn High School in New Market, Alabama.
By: Kelsey Bagwell