Kendrick hoping to build on momentum of postseason appearance - WRBL

Kendrick hoping to build on momentum of postseason appearance

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The Kendrick Cherokees are in an unfamiliar spot beginning 2013: defending a playoff position.

Coming off the first postseason appearance in 13 years, there is an excitement and enthusiasm around Cherokees camp that has been missing for several years.

"It's making us go real hard, because the team we got beat by won the state, and we know we could have beaten them," said senior linebacker Emmanuel Brown. "It just lets us know what kind of team we have."

Head coach Jerry Dukes says numbers are up this year, as is the focus level, which he attributes to the success of 2012.

"Anytime you get in the playoffs, the enthusiasm level goes up," Dukes said. "We got some young kids that are coming and getting involved that were here and didn't play last year that are coming and wanting to play this year."

For the returning players, a taste of postseason success has just made them hungrier.

"We want to go back," said senior linebacker Marvin Lewis. "It's a good feeling, and we want to stay having that good feeling."

Lewis and Brown anchor a defense heavy on returners. Also, experience coming back in the offensive backfield has Dukes optimistic.

"We're bringing back two good linebackers and some good running backs," he said. "Our quarterback's coming back, so experience is always an advantage and a help."

Kendrick opens the season on the road Aug. 30 at Americus-Sumter.

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