MT. STERLING, IL. (WGEM) -- There's a winning culture at Brown County that few Tri-State football programs can rival and the numbers speak for themselves.
The Hornets have made the playoffs in 12 out of the last 13 seasons.
"It's a tradition here. You finish what you started and then send it down the line, and then they finish it. It just keeps on going," senior Darian Drake said.
Plenty of the offensive pieces from a year ago return, including running backs Drake and Devin Tynan.
"That's two-thirds of our backfield that's returning," head coach Tom Little explained.
"Those two are tough-nose kids that are gritty, but they're great teammates, and I know they're going to work hard to really that guy ready to play with them, and have a really good balanced backfield."
According to senior lineman Skyler Moorman, "It's always good knowing the guys behind you know what they're doing. You can be confident in them and you don't have to worry about what's going to go down behind you."
Joe Hendricker returns under center and wide receiver Tanner Sussenbach is glad he's back.
"Going into the playoffs they really went on a run," Little said. "Tanner made some great catches and Joe really took advantage of Tanner's height. They're a great combination."
Sussenbach added: "It was kind of like he knew where I was going to be before I was there. It was nice. If I was open he'd get me the ball and if I wasn't open he knew where to throw it."
Up front, veterans Moorman and Justin Shepard anchor the offensive line.
"We're not going to gain a yard without them," Drake said.
"They carry our team and they don't get enough credit but they're definitely the heart of our team."
Defensively speaking the Hornets return several playmakers from a unit that only gave up 18.5 points a game last fall.
"We've got a lot of athletes there that we like (and) a lot of speed," Little said.
"I think these guys will really pursue to the ball well."
It's now full speed ahead for a team ready for weekly challenges.
"(I) love to be able to compete," Moorman said. "You get four years of high school and it's always good to be able to go out there, and give it your best each night, and do all you can."
Drake has no doubt the Hornets will be ready.
"Every week you're coming for a fight on Friday night," he said.
"If you don't bring it they're going to beat you. It's as simple as that. It's fun."