JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) – Johnson City enters the 2019 football season with the underdog mentality.
“Everybody thinks we are going to be underdogs and that is okay, we are going to roll with that,” said Johnson City head coach Todd Place.
“I like people doubting us,” said Johnson City senior Tyree Fleming
“I like it too,” said Johnson City senior Chase Westcott.
A new era of Johnson City football starts in 2019 with first year coach Todd Place taking over after three seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator.
“Expect something that you haven’t been used to, expect changes in every aspect of our program,” said Place.
“He’s an awesome coach, he really cares about this time and he really wants to win the same as we do,’ said Westcott.
For the Wildcats, they had just four wins in the last three seasons, and they are looking to make vast improvements in 2019.
“It’s not going to be a quick fix. It is not something that is going to change overnight, we’ve just got to continue to put in the hard work, continue to hopefully progress and get better everyday we come out here on the field,” said Place.
“We’re tired of the mentality everybody has, they come to the games in the beginning and see that we are losing and leave, we want to have our fans show up and want to be there and cheer us on,” said Fleming.
“We’re focusing on the little things now, and that is what we needed to focus on in the last three years was it? And we haven’t been and this is a really good start,” said Westcott.
A transition that begins with a whole new playbook and new schemes that a Johnson City team hasn’t seen in the past.
“So there is a learning curve, it hasn’t been pretty everyday at certain times of the day but that is expected there is going to be bumps along the way there’s going to be mishaps because this is new for all of us,” said Place.
“We trust the coach and trust that he is going to set us up for victory,” said Fleming.
For this team, it all begins on the practice field, a new culture for a rebuilding program.
“We are going to change everything we have done from what we are doing x’s and o’s wise to how our practices are run to what we are doing before and after practices we are changing everything and going a different route than JC has gone before,” said Place.
“Everybody wants to be here, in the past we have had kids that just want to show up and go through the motions but everybody is going one hundred and fifty percent,” said Fleming.
So for these underdogs the goal is simple, improve every day and just maybe they are going to surprise you.
“Nobody really expects big things from us and we are fine with that,” said Place.
“I like beating the odds and being that team to come up from the bottom and take down the big dogs,” said Fleming.
“We are coming up from the bottom and trying to make it the best we can,” said Westcott.