The last time Memorial finished below .500 was 2015. Since then, the Tigers have gone 50-7, been to state the last 3 years, claiming 2 titles in that span, and in the same time won the school's first 4A title.
"It was a special group and it was unfortunate it got cut short with the school year and everything they never really got the chance to celebrate with the student body but it was a great experience," said Memorial head coach John Hurley. Hopefully these guys that are coming back this year got to pick up some stuff from them.
"Where we started to where people thought we would go, I think all year we had a chip on our shoulder," said Memorial Senior Colton Pence. "I think we proved a lot of people wrong last year and there's nothing better than that."
With time comes graduation. Gone are 3 all state selections including Brock Combs, who was chosen as a top 50 player in the state.
"We've just got to keep working hard and have that next man up mentality," said Memorial Senior Connor Agler. We'll have some younger guys playing but if we keep working hard and taking it a day at a time, we'll be alright."
"Every year it seems like we're in the same boat, we're talking about guys that have graduated and the new guys that are coming in," said Hurley. "The difference is there's not going to be a Brock Combs or a Michael or a Branson or these guys that have been around. Austin Jones who played for 3 years. But there's also the guys that have been playing with those guys for the last 3 years that are going to be around and have an opportunity to display what they've learned and put in the time to get where they're at."
If you ask the Tigers though , they'll tell you it doesn't matter who's on the field, and that a culture has been built that ensures that they will all be in a position to contend year in and year out.
"It shows the grit our program is and how big our heart is for the game," said Pence. "I think, you really show that a lot of the teams we faced were a lot bigger than us and quote on quote had more talent than us but I think we had a bigger heart and I think that's how we went through."
"We're a tough program and we have a great coaching staff and a good support system around us in the community," said Agler. We're always going to give our best no matter who we're playing.