By Caleb Suggs
Ever since Chris Foster took the helm of Priceville High's football team, the program has checked one box after another.
The Bulldogs have done things they've never done before almost every season since Foster arrived in 2019.
In 2019, Priceville won eight games for just the second time in school history and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time. In 2021, the Bulldogs set a school record of 10 wins. In 2022 they set a new record of 11 wins, achieved the program's first undefeated regular season and advanced to the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time.
So that begs the question, what could be next for Priceville? Foster is just keeping it simple.
"I think what's important now is just maintaining that level of consistency," Foster said. "We've done a lot of great things. Last year we made the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time and now we want to see if we can make it three in a row."
"Above all, just maintaining that consistent level of play. That's what we want to do," Foster added.
Priceville faces some stiff challenges this season as the Bulldogs will have to replace a large senior class.
Among those is quarterback Jackson Prickett and running back Mason Cartee, who rushed for over 1,600 yards and had 26 total touchdowns.
On defense the Bulldogs are replacing eight of 11 starters, including Jake Langlois, who led the team with 81 tackles.
"I would say this is definitely the youngest team I've had so far," Foster said.
Still, despite their youth, Foster said he doesn't like to use the term "rebuild." Instead, he feels the Bulldogs have built a program that has the tools to reload quickly.
It's easy to see why he feels that way.
Two years ago Priceville lost running back Jerry Burton, who rushed for over 5,000 career yards. However, Cartee quickly filled the hole left by Burton,
Now, Blitz Clemons looks to be the next star running back for the Bulldogs after rushing for 804 yards and seven touchdowns a season ago.
Priceville also returns three starters along the offensive line, led by Brody Oliver, and the front looks to again be a strength of the team.
But while there may be talent in Priceville, Foster knows the team has an important goal this summer if they want to achieve their goals of reaching the playoffs for the third year in a row and also reaching the state quarterfinals for the first time.
"Finding new leadership is priority number one this summer," said Foster. "The senior class that we lost had a lot of good leaders in it."
"We can find kids that can run fast, can block and tackle. But finding kids that are comfortable leading, that's ultimately what will define our success."