With experience comes expectations and pressure.
Williamsburg (3A) has went 17-4 in the last two seasons. With ten players returning on offense that have varsity experience and nine on defense, expectations are high for the Raiders.
"We will be looking at our schedule like we can win every game and believe that we can win every game. This is a lot more experience we have ever brought back," said Iowa commitment Austin Blythe. "I guess there are some expectations, but not really pressure. If anyone is putting pressure on us it's from outside people and not from the team. Everybody on the team thinks we are going to be good and will have a great future. But, I guess pressure could change as the season goes on and we win games."
For Blythe, the summer has been about working out with his teammates. The pressures of recruiting and his college future have been gone since early May when he committed to the Hawks.
"I have been going in to the weight room four to five times a week to workout and have been hitting the camps. I have been just doing everything everyone else has been doing," said Blythe. "It's been really nice. I hear a lot about guys still getting letters and calls after they have committed somewhere and for me they have stopped. I have appreciated it. It takes a lot off my plate and my shoulders."
Maybe the calls stopped because it was no secret that Iowa was the preferred destination for Blythe since elementary school. With Williamsburg less than a half-an-hour away from Iowa City, Iowa was always Blythe's favorite team.
"This season is going to be great. I get to go out and play now. I don't have to go out and impress someone with the hopes of earning a scholarship. My future is set, so I can just focus on the present," said Blythe.
Currently the senior is 6-foot-3 and is up ten pounds to 285. After earning 1st team All-State honors last season, Blythe is rated a 3-star on Scout.com. He is the No. 22 nationally ranked offensive guard in the country.
Williamsburg's first game is less than three weeks away against Center Point-Urbana and as the season inches ever closer, expectations grow.
"This team will be a success if everyone on the team plays 100% every snap and every game."