The Upperman High School football team enters its second season under Head Coach Adam Caine after a 13-1 campaign in 2018.
The Bees are working hard this summer in preparation for the 2019 season, and they have their work cut out for them. Replacing 10 seniors is never an easy task, but that is exactly what Caine’s team is facing. According to Caine, the main focus has been on building confidence on offense.
“The toughest part has been trying to find our offensive identity,” Caine said. “We had a great running back in Blake Metzgar last year and he had a historic season … we’ve had to find more creative ways to move the ball and move the chains.”
Replacing Metzgar is a tall enough task, as he rushed for 1,959 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2018. The team is also without Cole Bush, their leading receiver from last season who tallied 864 yards and 10 TDs.
As far as how they will replace those two, Caine himself isn’t really sure at this point.
“I don’t know, we’re still trying to figure that out,” Caine said. “It’s a big chunk of our offense … I don’t know that you just say (someone) will replace them. Those were two historically great players for Upperman High School.”
The team will face a big test in week one of the season, as they take on Cookeville High School. These same teams met last season in week one, with Upperman taking a 23-7 victory over the Cavaliers. For lightning to strike twice, Caine believes it will come down to discipline and constant growth as a team.
“We’re trying as a team, and as individuals, to be better everyday at what we do,” Caine said. “I do think our practice habits have improved from last year. Our discipline is improving every single day … we’re a lot further along in terms of discipline and our understanding of what it takes to win.”