By: Kenny Morales | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
July 31, 2017
MONTICELLO, Fla. (WCTV) -- Jefferson County won just one game in 2016, finishing the season with a 1-7 record.
With Blair Armstrong leaving the program, the Tigers turned to former Florida State defensive back Leroy Smith to lead the team.
Smith hit the ground running right away with his new program, taking his players to 7-on-7 camps all summer, where they surprised themselves with how much success they had.
"We went to Florida and went 4-1. Teams didn't expect us to be that good. We didn't expect to be that good," explained Smith. "The guys worked their butts off and saw how good they could be.
"We then went to South Florida and went 7-1, so the summer has been pretty good to us," Smith continued.
It's a whole different vibe from previous seasons," one of the Jefferson County players said at last week's media day. "We work harder now that Coach Smith is here. Usually, we have to fit to the new coach, but Coach Smith has fit to us."
Below, you can view the Jefferson County transcript from WCTV's Media Day live blog. If you missed anything from Media Day, you can visit the live blog by clicking here.
Head coach Leroy Smith and three players
Coach Smith's opening statements
"We've been grinding over the summer. We've been to several 7-on-7 camps and building camaraderie."
Coach Smith on building relationships
"With any winning team, you have to build camaraderie. These guys have gone from not being very fond with one another to being brothers. I have to kick them off the field now.
Coach Smith on early season goal
"I want this community to know that we're raising young men. I want them to keep their grades up. As far as football, every coach should aim for the top. "I don't think anyone should say 'I want to be second place. I want to be third place.' Your vision should be a state championship. I want all of my players to get college scholarships - either academically or athletically. My goal is to win a state championship. My goal is to see every guy have a 3.0."
Coach Smith on if he's a "players' coach"
"I like to think I am. These guys know I love them and I know they love me. Over the last couple of years I've seen these players grow. Over this last summer, I've seen them grow a lot.
Coach Smith on the tradition at Jefferson County
"I'm going to take what we have and I'm going to reach for other resources. We have great athletes in Jefferson County. I think the last state title was in 2011 - these guys saw it and were apart of it. I tell everyone 'exposure to success promotes success.' I'm going to take the pieces I have right now and I'm going to build around that."
Players on vibe heading into 2017
"It's a whole different vibe from previous seasons. We work harder now that Coach Smith is here. Usually, we have to fit to the new coach, but Coach has fit to us."