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Albany ready to bounce back into state championship conversation

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ALBANY, Texas - The road to success seems to go through Albany lately, as the Lions continued to prepare for the 2017 football season on Tuesday - eager to continue an impressive string of deep playoff runs.

And for most, that may be the regionals or state semifinals. But for Albany, that hunger is to get back to where they've been accustomed to in recent years, the state finals.

Not too many teams can label a third-round playoff loss as an "off year", and it says a lot about the Albany program and its athletes. Now, this this senior class has the reputation on its shoulders, having been a part of those talented teams.

"We've been on the two state championship teams that fell short so, I think all of us still have it in the back of our minds definitely," said senior Dax Neece after practice. "Coming off of last year, I know we're ready to start working hard."

Albany isn't just successful in football. For the last three or four year's programs like basketball, track and field, and baseball have also gone to regional finals and state championships.

But for football, in four seasons, the Lions least-successful campaign is last year's regional semifinal loss. 2014 saw a trip to the state semifinals, then back-to-back state championship game losses to Bremond. Safe to say, the expectation in the Lions camp, is state.

And with the likes of Brian Hamilton, Adam Faith, Dax Neece, and a solid core in the trenches, the opportunity is back on the table for another shot.

And they aren't about to let that go to waste.

"You're never happy unless you win the last one, said head coach Denney Faith. "And so, we've never been in that position right now. We've had a couple shots at it and been close several times, but we haven't gotten there so, these guys are hungry."

Albany's head coach Denney Faith is also creeping up on win number 300 in his tenure, as the preseason 6-2A DII No. 1 ranked Lions prepare for what should be another big season that begins Friday, Sept. 1 at Colorado City.

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