The past few seasons have been a slow climb up the district standings for Kingston. But the Redskins are ready for the next step.
After back-to-back three-win seasons in 2010 and 2011, Kingston broke through last year with a 5-6 record. While the Redskins have made the postseason for three consecutive years, last season was the closest Kingston has been to a winning season since 2007.
Coach John Caraway thinks the next phase is to host a playoff game, which would mean securing the No. 2 spot out of District 2A-4.
The top priority for Kingston will be replacing a four-year starter at quarterback in Jared Hayes. The Redskins will look to sophomores Noah Hodges and Jacson Beal as first-time starters under center.
"I think both of them can do what we need them to do this year," said senior wide receiver/defensive back Marcus Burleson. "We have Summer Pride and usually we'll come down here and run some routes, so we should be pretty good this year."
Burleson also thinks the senior leadership will step forward if the Redkins falter. Kingston can fall back on a senior core of 15 players that is looking to
its career with four straight playoff appearances.
"We're excited about our senior class," Caraway said. "As far as the Kingston athletic program goes, these guys have done an outstanding job of leading these younger guys. They've worked hard the last two or three years."
One of the seniors leading the Kingston offense is Tanner Holland, the top returning rusher for the Redskins.
"We have some big shoes to fill, but I think we have the people to do it," Holland said. "We have a young team this year, but I think the seniors are gonna step up and show great leadership."
"When it comes down to short-yardage plays, we're gonna have to step up a little, but I believe they have the skill to step up and make big plays when we need to."
Kingston starts the season at Dickson on Sept. 6.
Follow Horne on Twitter: @ekhorneARD