It's rare for a team to finish a regular season 10-0, and yet still feel like expectations were not met. For Welsh, 2016 was just that. After downing Kinder for the district title, the Greyhounds fell in the second round of the playoffs.
"We had success during the season but we were still making mistakes against teams that we were just better than. We get into the playoffs and we made those mistakes and it cost us. It was a hard lesson and it made for a long off-season and now hopefully these guys are ready to go."
And the Greyhounds will go likely as far as quarterback Zach Hayes can take them. Hayes is one of nine starters back on an offense that averaged 45 points per game in a year ago. Hayes' ability and the experience returning has allowed Welsh to install a no-huddle offense, designed to wear down defenses.
"It's going to certainly wear the defense out, to where our offense can just be rolling the entire game, especially if the defense doesn't know the no-huddle is coming. We are counting on a lot of that to just surprise the defense and keep them off guard."
"I love going up-tempo and no-huddle, and I think I just put another effect into our offensive scheme. I think the coaches have done a really good job in the off-season to prepare us and getting everything ready for this year and I think we will do really well with it."
On defense, linebacker Josh Pickle will return as one of seven starters. He was a key cog in a unit a season ago that never allowed more than 26 points. The front seven will be the strength.
"The defense doesn't get the notoriety a lot of the time, but they have been solid year in and year out. Josh Pickle was probably the second leading tackler on the football team last year and he ended the season with an injury. He's going to bring that intensity and leadership back to the defense."
The Greyhound's schedule should also challenge the team. District showdowns with Kinder and Notre Dame highlight the 10-game affair as Welsh plays seven games against teams that won at least one playoff game a year ago.
"We play up every week going into district except for one, and then you go to district and you have Kinder and Notre Dame. In order to compete with these guys, we are going to have to compete at a high-level."
"I think this year, it should get us ready and beef us up for the playoffs. I think this schedule, by all means, should get us ready for a state championship run."
Which in the end, is the main expectation for this pack of Greyhounds.
"The next step for us is to make it to the dome and the state champions. It's going to take a lot of leadership from the seniors. Last year we were kind of nervous, because a lot of people it was their first year starting, but this year we want to win and we need that mentality from everyone."
Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.