LEAKESVILLE, MS (WDAM) - After falling in the 2012 class 4A state championship game, Greene County has been trying to get back up ever since.
The Wildcats come off three straight losing seasons, winning just six games during that span.
After a previous stint at Greene County, 2005-2014, Michael King returns to the program. But this time around he's the head coach, hoping to point the Wildcats in the right direction.
"Well, day one we started with attitude and effort," King said. "We try to preach that every day. We tell them that by bringing a good attitude every day and giving their best effort, I think it helps us be successful."
"We started with new coaches in the spring," said Greene County senior offensive guard Jordan Chapman. "All through the summer we've been working hard so I'm looking for a real positive season. I feel good about it."
A turnaround for Greene County will take more than just motivation from coach King. Ultimately, it's up to the players. Chapman is ready to lead the destruction of Wildcats.
"Jordan Chapman is a leader," King said. "He leads by example. He's someone that's always dependable, had a great summer, he's very coachable. We're fortunate to have Jordan Chapman on the offensive line leading us."
Chapman is happy to be on the front lines. The guard understands his role and knows how important his performance is to the Greene County offense.
"I love it," Chapman said. "Offensive guard is a lot of bulling. You go out there with linebackers and it's just you and them. Like [offensive coordinator Rotch Dungan] said, if one of us messes up, only one, the play doesn't work."
King said Chapman is athletic for an offensive lineman as he's able to block linebackers out on the perimeter. This skill-set should translate well at the next level as Chapman has verbally committed to Jones County Junior College.
"For all the hard work and everything he's put in to it, it's good for him I think to know that people have actually noticed his ability and the work that he's put in," King said.
There's still more work to be done for Chapman and the Wildcats.
Chapman was in middle school when Greene County last went to the state championship in 2012. He was even younger when the Wildcats won their only state title in 2003.
After the past few seasons for Chapman and Greene County, championships seem far away but not out of reach.
"I'm trying to flip that around 'cause [losing] is all I've known coming in as a freshman," Chapman said. "It's been like that since then. I'm trying to really pick the guys up as a senior, be a leader, and turn that around."
"We've only said the word 'win' three or four times since I've been here because I think that's a given," King said. "Everybody wants to win, that's kind of an obvious thing. We want to focus on the daily things that we think will make us winners in the long run like the attitude and effort."