Greg Street is quick to point out that he is hoping to have between 22 and 25 players on his Crawford County roster by the beginning of the season.
He has one senior who has played consistently at a varsity level. He has no junior varsity squad at all.
And he will even admit that he does not have many established athletes.
But Street, heading into his third year at Crawford County, sees improvement in a team that has lost 43 straight games entering the season, and he is optimistic that the losing streak will end while playing a non-region schedule.
“We don’t have great numbers right now, but the ones we do have are getting stronger every day and are determined to be successful,” said Street, who started with 35 players the first day of spring practice. “We felt like playing a non-region schedule this year was the right thing to do because winning breeds winning. We have got to start getting the athletes in the school to come back out for football. This is a great community and a great school, but the interest in football has swayed lately.
“The plan now is to try and get some wins, get the middle school programs back up to par and get those parents involved in the program.”
Any success on offense will start with talented quarterback Tyrick Reeves, along with Reid Tolbert and Christopher Jackson and Joseph Mullis.
“These guys have to be the leaders for us, and they have done that by example during the offseason,” Street said. “Tyrick is our best skill player and has the ability to play at the next level, and the other guys are hardworking leaders. I don’t have big numbers right now, but the ones I have, well I couldn’t run them off if I tried.
“They love the game of football, and they have bought into what we are trying to do here.”
The losing streak has been a struggle for the program, but Jackson insists that there is no quit in the players who have stuck it out.
“I really see it as a life lesson,” said Jackson, who is a junior and playing his second season of football. “You just can’t quit when things get tough; you have to finish. We are obviously lacking the numbers of other teams, but we have all seen some good things happening with a growing program.”
For Mullis, who has been on the varsity for the past three seasons and is one of the few seniors, the prize of a win is worth all the work he has put in during his time with the program.
“A win would be like the icing on the cake, and I don’t know if there are words to describe how it would feel,” Mullis said. “I have all the faith in the world in the players and the coaches, and I am very confident that the hard work this summer will pay off for us. We may only have 20 players, but those 20 are united and will battle all the way.”
CRAWFORD COUNTY IN 2014
Head coach: Greg Street (0-20 in two seasons overall and at Crawford County).
2013 record: 0-10.
2014 region: Non-region schedule.
Returning starters: 4 on offense; 4 on defense.
Players to watch: Tyrick Reeves (6-2, 190, Jr., QB/PK); Reid Tolbert (5-8, 165, Jr., LB); Anquavious Wiggins (5-9, 160, Jr., WR); Avery Vigna (6-2, 175, Jr., WR/S); Joseph Mullis (5-10, 225, Sr., TE/LB); Adrian Lockhart (6-0, 230, Jr., T/DE) George Wilson (5-9, 160, Jr., C).
Aug. 22 Mount Vernon Presbyterian
Aug. 29 Central-Talbotton
Sept. 5 at Montgomery County
Sept. 12 at Stewart County
Sept. 19 at Chattahoochee County
Sept. 26 Temple
Oct. 3 at Monticello
Oct. 10 Social Circle
Oct. 17 at Glascock County
Oct. 24 North Cobb Christian