VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Monday was day one of practice for high school football teams in Georgia.
The Valdosta Wildcats, the winningest high school football program in the country, now has one of the nation's most recognized coaches as their head coach and they're ready to bring another state title to Titletown.
Valdosta returns 15 starts combined on offense and defense, they have several new additions too. A quarterback from Atlanta, Colquitt County wide receiver Tajh Sanders, and Valwood receiver Aalah Brown, to name a few.
"He expects us to do so good this season," said Aalah Brown, a Valdosta rising senior.
"We just know, like, he ready," said John Brown, a rising senior at Valdosta. "He knows, he wants us to work."
For the Valdosta High School football team, the expectations are clear.
"I want to get this thing back to National prominence," said Rush Propst, Valdosta's head football coach. "To get the best high school football program at one time, and the winningest high school football program now to the heights they had that coach Hyder had it to and Coach Bazemore had it to."
Since 1940, the Wildcats have won at least two State titles every decade, 24 in total. Their last two came almost 20 years apart and new Wildcat head coach Rush Propst is looking to bring the Wildcats back to National prominence.
For Propst, to get that consistency back is as simple as support.
"City, city council, boosters, fans, administration," Propst said. "Everybody has to be on the same page. Everybody has to be peddling in the same direction, or it doesn't matter if Rush Propst is here."
"Growing up, I watched numerous Valdosta teams get almost there and they didn't quite make it," said Jaylin Alderman, aValdosta rising senior. "Coach Propst came in with a different mindset. We're rocking and rolling, we're trying to get to that point and win a State Championship."
The Wildcats want to be the best.
"As Valdosta High School, as a football team, the city depends on us," said Javonte Sherman, a rising senior at Valdosta. "Not Lowndes, but Valdosta. We have to live up to the expectations."
Expectations set by those that came before them.
"We have a goal to be a State Champion," Propst said. "You have to be that way. If you're not, you're cheating your seniors, and we'll do that."
To get back to the winning standard that is Valdosta football.
Georgia has pushed the start of the season back two weeks. They'll open against Warner Robbins on September 4.