JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There are a lot of proud folks repping the green and gold around Waycross this time of the year.
The Ware County Gators football team is 10-0 and pushing to make a run at its' first ever state title.
Ware County lost a close game to Calhoun in the second round of last year's playoffs, and Gators players Trey Hargrove and Jaden Jones say that loss left a bad taste in their mouth.
They say the team worked over the off season and summer to get stronger and take that next step, and now their undefeated and eyeing their first ever Georgia state title.
Gators head coach Jason Strickland is in his fourth season at the helm.
Strickland says it's been special to see his players grow and develop as leaders on and off the field since they were in the ninth grade.
He says the team is taking one day at a time and one week at a time, but has bigger goals beyond just going undefeated in the regular season.
According to Strickland, Ware County's seniors have stepped up this season and contributed a lot to the team's success.
"This group of seniors they were freshmen when I got here, so we've kind of grown up together in this program. It's a special group of young men I mean it really, really is. We start talking about Trey Hargrove and Brandon Washington, I mean I could go right on down the line. There's a bunch of guys that have just been so instrumental in kind of building the core values of what we wanted the program to be," Strickland said.
Gators senior linebacker Trey Hargrove, who has several Division 1 offers, says the team has their eye on a state championship.
"We're trying to make history here this year. The big thing about this team we have a theme we wanna strive to be the greatest to ever do it so every day we come out and strive to get better and the championship is part of the process," Hargrove said.
Ware County (10-0) hosts Chamblee (8-2) Friday night in the second round of the 5A Georgia high school football playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm at Memorial Stadium in Waycross.