LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The Hardee’s Friday Night Blitz Preview series brings us to Heritage High School. Last season the Pioneers went on a seven-game winning streak all the way to Class 3 state finals. Although they fell to Phoebus 48-7 in the championship game, Heritage is looking to plot a course back to the Class 3 title game.

“I felt like that the 2022 group they probably overshot their expectations they were definitely one of those teams that overperformed. We had some talent in some areas don’t get me wrong, but we didn’t have some talent in some other areas. But they prepared probably as good or better than any team I’ve been around,” said Heritage head coach Brad Bradley.

This season the Heritage High School football team is only bringing back a few members from the 2022 squad. So now it’s up to a new group of guys to get them back to the Class 3 state championship game.

“Yeah it was a tough game we just have to learn how to push through it and keep working after a loss like that,” said Heritage senior Adon Overstreet.

For players like Trayandre Clark, the loss to Phoebus is still fresh in his mind.

“Our goal is to go back to that. We want to win that dream we want to be in the same club as were in 2018. The 2018 group, every time I go to the weight room and see the board it’s just motivation to me,” said Clark.

The Pioneers have a fair amount of young talent to work with, and in order to return to the state finals, every player will have to have that “next-man-up” mentality. “I would say most of them are fast and they have it. They know where we have to get to and where our goal is,” said Clark.

As the start of the season approaches, being physically and mentally ready will hopefully pay off in the long run.

“We’re all determined, and we’re focused trying to get everything right and figure everything out before the season starts so that we’re ready by the time it does,” said Overstreet.

“Teams that lead themselves are the best football teams and if you have a player-led football team, you’re going to be a really good football team,” said Bradley.