NEW MARKET — After Southmont captured the county title and begun the season 5-0 for the second straight year, they knew the challenge that lied ahead of them. Four games left against the toughest teams in the Sagamore Athletic Conference and it began by hosting Danville. The hard work in the summer of hitting the weight room and sweating buckets was exactly for this final four game stretch. Southmont came away with a 28-14 win over the Warriors last Friday and moved to 6-0 on the season which marked their best start in 41 years. With their perfect 4-0 record in the SAC, the Mounties also currently stand alone on top of the conference as the league’s smallest school.
“Our kids have put a ton of work into getting us to where we are at this point,” Southmont coach Desson Hannum said. “A lot of our seniors have been through a lot of ups and downs, been on the bad side of losses so it’s special for those guys to get to experience something like this.”
Three of the five captains in senior running back Carson Chadd, senior quarterback Nick Scott, and junior fullback Wyatt Woodall have been three key building blocks of what the Mountie program has been building towards for the last few seasons. The three knew that if this team wanted to get better and have the success they’re currently having, it had to begin in the summer.
“I felt after like after the end of last year if we put in the work in the off-season, we can compete with anyone,” Woodall said. “That work is beginning to really show itself out on the field and for us we just have to continue to take it week by week and the results will speak for themselves.”
Chadd who along with Woodall has given the Mounties the best one-two punch on the ground in the SAC (Woodall 590 yds, Chadd 410 yds) noted how the those summer workouts went and how it only made him and his team that much better and ready to take on the physical teams that the Mounties are currently up against.
“Those workouts were rigorous,” Chadd said. “It just wasn’t putting in work with coach Hannum, all of us knew we had to put in work on our own. The problem we had last year was those guys were just bigger and stronger than us. Our opponents may have more guys on the sidelines than us, but all that mattered was that our 11 when we lined up was just as good as their 11.”
Scott who has been at the helm of the Mountie offense the last three seasons has seen the evolution of this team into now where instead of automatically chalking it up as a loss to the likes of Danville, Tri-West, Lebanon, and Western Boone, these Mounties now know they belong on that field with the SAC’s best.
“The fact that as a team we now know we can compete with those guys has been huge,” the senior quarterback said. “It now comes down to just putting in the work each and every week in practice to make sure we’re prepared to go out there on Friday’s.”
A season ago Woodall was just a sophomore as the Mounties had plenty of underclassmen play a big role. It was also Scott and Chadd’s first season of being upperclassmen and beginning to lead the team where they are now. Add Woodall into the mix this season and while also having the other two as seniors, and there’s the heart and soul of the Mountie football program.
“We obviously rely a ton on those guys to be the leaders for us,” Hannum said. “It’s not only out on the field on Friday but it’s also at practice, in the locker room and in every thing we do. Everyone sees those guys as the example of how do get things done the right way. Those guys will continued to be relied on the rest of the year. They set the tone for how we handle winning and success and also how we handle adversity when that time does come.”
Some of the bigger 3A and 4A schools in the conference might look down on the Mounties as being a team that they can just roll over. After Southmont’s 28-14 win over the Warriors a week ago, they’ve officially put the rest of the conference on notice that they’re ready to compete against anyone.
“I think it provides the kids with a little chip on their shoulder knowing that they’ll be at a numbers dis-advantage,” Hannum said. “I feel like the guys we have going out there every Friday night are really good and have been in a ton of battles. For the first time in a few years we have that experience we can lean on.”
The three captains also see it the same as Hannum with being the smallest school in the in the conference. It’s something that just gives the Mounties something extra to work towards continue to show everyone that this season is their time.
“I see it as a David and Goliath type situation,” Woodall said. “We might not the biggest or fastest but we’re going to go out every week and play physical and tough and see if the other team really loves to play football.”
Chadd sees the level of competition and the differences in numbers as just another challenge.
“It’s just awesome that we can prove to everyone that we can compete with anyone,” he said. “Danville had a TV on their sideline and doubled us in numbers. We’re just tired of the little brother feeling.”
Southmont’s biggest tests are still to come this season as Friday they’ll travel to take on 5-1 (3-1 SAC) Western Boone. After that the Mounties finish out their season with hosting Lebanon before ending the season at Tri-West. With an un-blemished 4-0 record in the SAC, South controls its own destiny in terms of a conference title.
While the work is daunting, this year’s Mountie team isn’t going to back down from any challenge. They’ve proven that they are a team to be reckoned with.
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