Before getting into region competition, the Wildcats will meet three of their county neighbors in Clarkston, Chamblee and Lakeside, and hope to prevent an 0-4 start to the season like in 2013.
“Last year, we started to really show some significant improvement,” Dunwoody coach Jim Showfety, who is entering his fifth season as coach, said. “This year, we want to take that to another level. Our biggest challenge this year is that we have to become a mentally tougher team.
“We had the tendency to let our mistakes snowball into a series of others. I think if we can avoid that, we got a shot to be very competitive this year.”
Since the Wildcats moved up to Class AAAAA in 2012, the results have been rough and a lot of their contests ended in large margins of defeat. Last season, Dunwoody finished with a 3-7 record.
“In 2012, honestly we were not ready that year to play varsity football,” Showfety said. “We just didn’t have the numbers or experience, but these guys never complained. We kind of threw them to the wolves but two years later as seniors we’re expecting great things from these guys. They have truly paid their dues and taken their lumps.”
Some of the players Showfety is referring to are Daniel Hinton, Devin Francois, Tylor Scales, Rohan Andrews, Matthew Nathan, Kendrick Jones and Lewis Freeman.
Showfety had a lot of players touch the ball out of the backfield last season but Aaron Alexander, who is now at Bemidji State, was his main weapon, racking up 632 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
Based on 2013 statistics, Hinton could be next in line since he had the highest number of carries, yardage and touchdowns behind Alexander as a true running back.
Last season, the Wildcats played nine region games but will only have five this year.