2016 Ringling Blue Devils football preview
The Ringling Blue Devils want one thing out of their 2016 season.
"to get the gold ball," Senior Baler Stewart said. "We don't expect anything less here. It's just the way we are."
"I expect us to go get the gold ball," Senior Chase Clinton said. "Nothing less."
The Blue Devils ended 2015 just short of playing for that gold ball, losing to Cashion in the state semifinals.
"It was sickening," Stewart said. "We were one game away from where we thought we should've been."
"We had a great team last year, we had a lot of experience, but we have worked harder this year so that doesn't happen again," Clinton said.
Ringling graduated 13 experienced seniors that were key to the playoff run.
"This year we are not as experienced, still believe we are talented, just not as experienced," Ringling head coach Stephen Justus said.
The Blue Devils will benefit from something last year's group didn't have, a full 10 game schedule.
"As talented as we were last year, we really got better when we could play every week," Justus said. "This group right here, when it gets down to the playoffs, we'll have a group that is talented and hungry."
The Blue Devils will field 10 seniors, 3 juniors and 14 sophomores in 2016. The current seniors are ready to step into that leadership role.
"Pressure is on, you've got to go perform," Stewart said. "That's the only way we can make it right is to show those older guys they taught us right and that us running deep with them last year made us hungrier this year."
"We're asking them to do what our other seniors did and that's step up and lead," Justus said. "We feel like we have a good group of seniors."