Let’s meet the 2021 James Clemens Jets.
Like many teams across North Alabama, the Jets are looking to start fresh under new head coach Chad McGehee. James Clemens went 8-3 last year, but that doesn’t mean they’re sticking with the same formula.
“To be honest, everything’s different,” quarterback Gio Lopez said. “It's a whole new culture to be honest. A lot of different things, a lot of new coaches.”
Lopez said it's a good chance though, one that’s already been making a difference in the teams 7-on-7 games.
“Yeah, it makes it fun. Usually, the first play of the game we score a touchdown first play,” he said. “It’s happened every time we’ve done 7-on-7s.”
The Jets are returning a pretty experienced team, with a large number of seniors set to play big roles. McGehee said he's not sure that experience will make a difference due to all the other changes the team is going through, but the team’s winning culture is another story.
“I think success breeds success,” the coach said. “So you’ve got a great culture in place and a great foundation and we’re just building on that and we want to improve and we have lofty goals for this group this year, as well.”
Though the team is returning a number of starters, Lopez says they don’t have a ton of depth which means that a lot of younger guys have to step up. Seeing them fill those roles this summer has given him a lot of confidence.
“I ain’t gonna say nothing, but I think it's a very good shot at a map this year,” Lopez said.
The hunt for the Jets’ first state title starts against Murphy on Aug. 20.