JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Nettleton has added a field turf this year. It has helped them practice in worse conditions and the team feels confident about the new home field advantage.
But the Raiders have an even bigger change. Coby Crite will replace All-State Quarterback Jaylin Small as the new starter. Crite was a QB as a freshman, but played wide receiver the past few years. Nettleton expects him to be a dual threat quarterback. "Sometimes I like to be in control. I've always liked to have the ball in my hands. But I just do whatever coach wants me to do. You know it's all about the team at the end of the day and I just go with it," Crite said.
There are a few changes, but on the defensive side of the ball eight starters return. "We're expecting to force a lot of turnovers. We've been emphasizing that a lot this season, or this off-season. So we're kind of smaller so be fast and force turnovers," senior linebacker Christian Hightower said.
The Raiders have improved in both of Steven Hampton's seasons as head coach losing a heart breaker in the opening round of the 2014 playoffs.
This year they've got a new training motto and big goals. "It's not a 10 game season. We're not training for an 11 game season. You know we're training for a 14 game season and that's a long haul. You know when you think about it. So when we go in the weight room or we're doing our conditioning you know those are things that we try and reinforce that we're training for 14 weeks. And in order to do that that means that we're getting to the very last game," Steven Hampton said.
Nettleton opens its season September 4th at home against Newport.