KPZ Preview: Shawnee Heights High School

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TECUMESH, Kan. (WIBW) -- Shawnee Heights head coach Jason Swift can’t seem to get the 2016 season out of his head.

“[The losses] stick with you,” Swift said. “When you look at it, it's three of four plays in the game. That's the difference between walking away with a win or walking away with a loss.”

Swift’s team finished 3-6 in 2016. Three of those losses were by a combined 10 points.

“At lunch that's all we're talking about,” senior linebacker Tanner Buckley said. “Every time we're running, conditioning, it's all we're thinking about.”

“It's just really tough to know that we were that close in all those games and could have come away with a better season,” senior quarterback and defensive back Mitchell Lady said. “It's pretty disappointing.”

Lady has the tough task of stepping in as starting quarterback. Lucky for the T-Birds, it’s not his first time under center.

“He played quarterback as a sophomore when Trey [Brown] went down for a couple games,” Swift said. “He's done an incredible job of preparing for this year, understanding the offense, understanding what we're looking for, and then being able to execute.”

Lady knows his experience as a sophomore quarterback in 2015 will help him this season.

“It's a good thing that I went through that and it's nice to have that Friday night speed [understood],” Lady said. “Coming up from freshman to sophomore, [the speed is] a whole different thing.”

Shawnee Heights starts the season by hosting Manhattan on Sept. 1.