MINERAL, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Despite another undefeated regular season, there was one loss and one play on every Louisa player's mind this offseason.
"It gives us that little chip on our shoulder," senior running back Jarett Hunter said about the Lions loss to Eastern View in last season's playoffs, "Knowing we can't be in that same situation where the game is that close where a play like that can determine the game for us."
"Definitely made us want to grind, we knew we were almost there, just unlucky last play," senior safety Alex Washington said, "That bitter taste in our mouth, every time when we're tired, no one more rep we don't want that to happen again."
The Lions enter another season with high expectations as usual, but maybe more motivated than ever to break through.
"These kids here, they're real hungry," Coach Will Patrick said, "We got a standard here and they got to live up to it and uphold it. A little bit of pressure on them, but also having some fun."
"It killed me last year, didn't like what happened," senior linebacker Austin Sims said, "But I'm even hungrier this year to go get the state championship."
The reigning JD offensive player of the year Jarett Hunter leads a dynamic Louisa offense with plenty of versatility and speed to throw opponents off.
"It's rare to have so many weapons on the team, so we just take advantage of that opportunity," senior cornerback Xavien Hunter said.
"That makes us very dangerous, especially on O and D because on offense they can't just stop Jarett," Washington said, "No matter what if they try to stop one person, we have someone else to just step up and deliver the blow to them."
Those weapons will help the Lions quickly break in new quarterback freshman Landon Wilson, Louisa's third different starter over the past three years. As always the goal remains the same in Louisa, state championship or bust.
"Anything less than winning a state championship is a disappointment," Washington said.
"The goal is to be the last team standing," Patrick said, "Only one team gets to do that in 4A football in Virginia, so that's our goal every year."