DECATUR, Ala. - The 2015 Austin high school football team was one for the record books. The Black Bears won ten games for the first time since 1993, and were just one win away from a trip to the state championship game. Austin lost in the state semifinals 45-35 to Clay Chalkville, but that postseason run gave the team confidence that it can get there again. "They got to see with their own eyes what they can do and what they are capable of, but what they have to realize is this is not last year's team," head coach Jeremy Perkins said. "They are a new team, a different team, there are elements that are different than last year, there are elements that are the same, but everything is different. This is 2016 not 2015, so they have to work just as hard or harder to get back to where they want to go."
Austin did a lot of it's winning with offense. The team averaged over 33 points a game last year, but a lot of key pieces of that team have moved on. Quarterback Victor Garth graduated, offensive lineman Deonte Brown now plays at Alabama and running back Asa Martin transferred to IMG Academy in Florida. With a lot of young guys stepping up to fill these spots, coach Perkins says his defense really needs to step it up. "Those guys are going to have to carry us early. Let some of the offensive players get their feet under them, and kind of see what the game is actually like on Friday nights and get some experience under their belt. So we need the defense to step up early."
Austin kicks off the 2016 season August 19 at Walker.