The defending state champion Blue Ridge Football team goes to work everyday knowing they have a huge target on their back.
Head coach Orlando Patterson said, "I think other people have put that target there. I think we just have to take everything day-by-day and play our game." Blue Ridge's Max Morgan added, "Everyone's looking for you, coming after you. It just makes you want to work harder."
With 13 returners and 9 seniors on the roster, the Barons say their defense is what makes them a powerhouse.
"Just like last year, if the balls in the air we're gonna get it," said Morgan. Senior linebacker, Ryan Etheridge said, "Our lines a whole lot stronger, I mean really, our defense. Everything, everything's going to be good."
As they prepare for their first game this week, they have one goal in mind - another state ring. Etheridge said, "that's the whole goal of the season, especially being a senior. It would be really nice to say you won a state championship your senior year, and plus your junior year." Patterson added, "As long as we're successful and we make it to the playoffs, that's our goal, every year now. Make it to the playoffs an continued success."
If the Barons can repeat that will be the first time they've won two state championships in a row, and the guys say they're just having a little trouble figuring out which finger they're going to put that extra ring on.
"I have it on my ring finger, I'll probably put it on my middle finger just to have them right beside each other." said Etheridge. Morgan explained, "Maybe put it on my necklace where it around my neck."