It was the best season in the history of the school.
Now, with a new season less than two weeks away, the Lafayette Christian School Cougars are hoping to keep the good times going.
The 2013 season ended with the Cougars losing a close game in the semifinals of the state playoffs.
The Cougars were just one score away from beating Harvester Christian in the final four of the Independent Christian Schools of Alabama and Georgia playoffs.
The Cougars had the ball twice in the closing minutes, but they were unable to produce the go-ahead touchdown, and Harvester won 29-24.
It was still a special season for the Cougars, who set a school record for wins while making their deepest ever run in the playoffs.
“We’ve got a good group of guys,” said Nick Nehring, the only head coach the team has ever had. “And they’ve got hunger. It’s kind of catching. Guys are hungry, looking forward to the 15th, that’s for sure.”
The Cougars will open their season at home against Shiloh Hills on Aug. 15.
The Cougars will play a 10-game regular season, and the eight-team playoffs begin on Nov. 7.
A year ago, after winning seven games in the regular season, the Cougars beat Praise Academy 39-38 in a thrilling first-round playoff game.
With less than two minutes remaining, quarterback Matt Brown scored on a short touchdown moments after he completed a long pass to Sam Marshall.
Jeremy Fain made the extra point to give the Cougars a one-point lead with 1:45 remaining.
After driving the ball to the Lafayette Christian 6-yard line in the closing moments, Praise Academy was stuffed on the game’s final play.
The following week in the semifinals, the Cougars found themselves in another close game, but this time they fell short.
Harvester scored a touchdown with seven minutes remaining to take a 29-24 lead, but Lafayette Christian had a couple of changes to reclaim the lead.
The Cougars were unable to make it happen, though, denying them a chance to play for a championship.
As the Cougars head into their second week of preseason practice, hopes are high that they can put together another strong season.
A handful of seniors who were a huge part of the program graduated, but there are plenty of talented players returning, including Brown at quarterback.
Brown is a multi-year starter, and he enjoyed a phenomenal junior season.
Brown headlines the strong group of returning players.
“We’ve got a good group of returning guys,” Nehring said. “With Matt, this being his senior year, and some of these other guys like Eli Sheppard are back. We’ve got some good leadership.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 (ext. 232) or on Twitter @lagrangesports