RICHLANDS (WVVA) - While the Richlands Blue Tornado were able to raise the Southwest District trophy again last year, a first round playoff loss to Cave Springs sent the team home in early November with broken hearts.
Now, the team says that disappointment has them hungrier for more in 2013.
"It was the first time in 10 years that we didn't play on Thanksgiving Day or been practicing," said Head Coach Greg Mance.
Senior Colton Staten said "it was devastating to us, first time we've ever lost in the first round of playoffs."
"They were very upset, very – well -- they were devastated," Mance added.
One of the big hurdles the Tornado had to clear in 2012 was a knee injury to starting quarterback Gray Baker. But Baker is back for his senior campaign and more ready than ever to lead his team.
"I'm really excited," Baker said. "It was a long offseason and a lot of hard work. My knee's doing better so I'm really excited to get out here and see what we can do."
The team knows that they can't go back and change what happened last year, but they say that memory is what they are using to fuel themselves deep into the postseason this year.
"It was tough last year," Baker said "especially from the sidelines but we've got one goal, and that's state champions. That's what everybody thinks about around here and that's the only thing we're looking forward to now."
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