DECATUR , Ala. - "That was a gut check right there that was a heartbreak," said Austin quarterback Kulyn Hubbard.
Hubbard, referring to Austin's 51-50 overtime loss to Pinson Valley in the third round of the 2017 playoffs. It's something that the returning players on the team haven't forgotten about, and are using as motivation for the season ahead.
"We just want to come back, work harder and hopefully make it farther this year," Hubbard added.
Head Coach Jeremy Perkins enters his ninth season in charge of the program, and hopes his team can take that heartbreak from a season ago, as a chip on their shoulder in 2018.
"They should be hungry," said Perkins. "We'll see how hungry they are when the season starts rolling around."
"It is a chip and it helps everybody work harder and try to make it farther than we did last year in the playoffs," senior running back Reddy Steward said.
This will be the first year in the class 7A ranks for the Black Bears making the jump from class 6A, but the mentality hasn't changed. Austin Football still wants to win.
The Black Bears open up the 2018 season on August 24th when they take on Hartselle.