HARRODSBURG, Ky (WTVQ) -After going 5-7 in 2018, continuity paid off for the Titans last season. They won 8 games. Tying their highest win total since head coach David Buchanan took over in 2015.
“It felt good,” said senior lineman Richie Macias. “Going in there now a lot people, you know we’ve always have down season and good seasons and having a good season like that my junior year was fun.”
“It felt pretty good…like real good actually,” said senior wide receiver Jalen Lukitsch. “Just being out there with everyone and doing that good and being doubted just felt good.”
The Titans picked a big year to make a statement. Going into a new district, the Titans would take on the reigning 2A state champ the Christian academy of Louisville, Desales along with Henry County and Western Hills. During the regular season, Mercer’s only district loss was to Desales.
“That made it even better because everyone was all like y’all are not gonna do so good,” said Lukistch. “We just went out and won and done our thing.”
So what clicked? Head coach David Buchanan says it was getting some big wins and building confidence.
“I think when we went to CAL and we got them up there,” said head coach David Buchanan. “Really and I think beating Anderson two weeks earlier at their place just gave our kids a lot of confidence and just kinda sold them that their hard work was paying off and it gave us a lot of momentum to play some pretty good football last season.
Those wins were big when it comes to continuing to that winning trend this season.
“I think the biggest thing they see is we’ve really closed the gap on CAL and Desales, but we still got plenty of work to do and that’s what we’re trying to get done now. Trying to continue to close that gap.”
Closing that gap means tightening it up in the postseason. While Mercer beat CAL in the regular season, the centurions bounced the Titans in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think we went in there hot headed,” said Macias. “We didn’t put it together good. We played good, but it just wasn’t enough.”
“We just gotta take practice more serious,” said Lukitsch. “That’s what happened probably. We weren’t taking it too serious. We can’t just keep doubting teams we’ve already beat either.”
Speaking of practice, the Titans have something on their side, a sports complex. Where in a time of social distancing the guys can get in there, spread out and get to work. Also, regardless of what’s going on outside, they can come inside and get after it.
“We’ve got a weight room area and we can put a group of 9 over there,” says Buchanan. “We can have 9 over here and we’ve got a wall between them so they’re separated and you know this complex has always been an advantage, but with the social distancing and the guidelines right now, I mean it’s great because it doesn’t matter what it’s doing outside. We can safely work our two groups at a time and we’re very very thankful.”