Last year William Byrd’s football team finished with a 3 and 7 mark and almost made the playoffs, despite getting hit with the injury bug. The Terriers played the first four games with at least seven starters out, something Head Coach Jeff Highfill says was just an unfortunate fluke.
"This is my 39th year,” Highfill said, “and I've never had it quite like that. We all stress the weight room and trying to avoid injuries but you can't completely eliminate them. We just had a bad year where they all piled-up and unfortunately a lot of them piled-up in the same positions. We were really thin on the offensive and defensive lines those first four games. We're hoping the kids that played there give us a little more depth there, but sometimes you can't control all that. "
But the injuries gave younger guys experience and reps on Friday nights. With 15 returning starters, including Junior Quarterback Zach Hill, the Terriers are hoping to build-on a strong finish last season behind their four captains holding it down in the backfield.
"It felt like we got some momentum going there at the end,” Highfill said. “We barely missed-out on the playoffs. We only had seven seniors so we got a lot of people back. There's a good nucleus and we're hoping to get that momentum to carry over. As last year, our five strongest guys are all in the backfield. We're not as big as we'd like to be up front. But we do have a lot of experience now and that's got to help them in some degree up there."
"I think we should be alright because we've got nine returning starters on offense and then 6 on defense,” Hill said. “So it should work out good. I think this year I'll feel a lot more comfortable knowing that I started last year and I have more experience on the field.”