Bullock County head coach Derrick Levett is getting ready for his second season as the head coach of the Hornets. This time he has a full offseason to work with his squad and get them ready for the 2022-2023 season.

“I started late last season,” Levett said at the fifth annual iHeart High School Media Days . “I started Aug. 1 and the season started Aug 8. Once the season ended last year, we got to work. We started our weight lifting program in November and we’ve been going full-fledge.”

Before Levett and the Hornets knew last season they had started 0-1. It was not until their homecoming game on Oct. 8 that they got their first win of the season. They did it in blowout fashion over Ashford, 46-26. Their only other win last season came via a forfeit win against Carver in the final game of the season. In their seven losses last season, the Hornets were outscored 268-81.

Despite all of that, Levett has high hopes for this season, even in their hard region. The biggest sign for hope is that their current roster number is almost double what it was at the end of last season. They finished last season with 24 players on the roster and started this year with 56 players before it recently dropped to 48, according to Levett.

“I went through the schools, walked the hallways,” Levett said. “Got guys out that probably previously played before. I also have guys that haven’t played before that have nice size and everything.”

Another bonus for the Hornets this season is that they have seven home games and only three on the road. Homefield advantage is crucial for any team but especially ones that need  that extra push to get over the edge and play above their weight.

“With the alignment this year, I was blessed to have seven home games,” Levett said. “I want the community to be out there.”

The biggest thing that Levett said he wants out of his team is just to go out there and have fun. He said he  believes once you have fun you’re not out there chasing anything, and the players are going to go out there and do what they do. Doing what they do means sticking to the run and using their size to their advantage.

“I know [that] to be successful in our region, you got to establish the run,” Levett continued. “On paper, besides Andalusia, I should have the biggest interior line in the area. With all of them coming back, and they know the schemes and everything, we should be successful.”

The Hornets are scheduled to start their season at home against Keith on Aug. 19. The location of the game might change due to an issue at Bullock County’s home stadium. This will be the fifth time that these two school have met with the last time being in 1974, where Keith won, 6-0.