Countdown to Kickoff (Cabell Midland): Knights want more in 2017

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ONA (WCHS/WVAH) - For a sixth straight year since Luke Salmons took over at Cabell Midland the Knights made the playoffs in 2016. But just making the playoffs doesn't mean it was a good year. Not by their standards, at least.

"We lost a couple of close games but it was good for our kids because they had never lost more than 1 or 2 games in a season," said head coach Luke Salmons

Isaiah Duncan Senior LB

"I think last year was a learning process. We lost a lot of seniors so people had to step up and they learned," said Isaiah Duncan, a senior linebacker.

Midland had a young team last year. After a rocky start the Knights got better as the season went along finishing up regular season play with four straight wins before losing to Capital in the first round of the playoffs.

Now the trick is carrying over that late season success into 2017.

"I think they're hungry. They want to beat everybody. They're dying," said Salmons

Jovaun Light said, "We just have to continue with the momentum and hopefully keep the toughness and they all in and just play Midland football."

Running back Ivan Vaughn broke out his during his sophomore season with more than 18-hundred yards.

This year he's added 20 pounds of muscle and gotten faster.

A scary thought for the opposition.

"Coach always tells me to 'be the man," said Vaughan. " I take that to heart. Last year I tried to step up. I got first team all state. There's going to be a big target on me. I just have to fight thru it. Give it all I've got."

Ivan would make himself look good regardless of who was blocking for him. But he's also got a very solid offensive line in front of him which means the potential is there for greatness.

"We've had some good lines but these guys have got it," said Salmons. "They're tough. They love the game and they're physical. That's what makes me excited the most."

Midland is stockpiled with talent. Coach Salmons estimates he has 4 or 5 players with division one potential.

The Knights open up against Anderson, Ohio at home.

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