PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – After a historic 2022 season, the Bay football team is looking to build upon the foundation laid by a massive senior class.

The Tornadoes are coming off an 8-3 playoff season where they won a county and district championship.

“Last year, they laid a foundation,” Bay Head Coach Jeremy Brown said. “Like, they left a legacy of what Bay High football has always should have been.”

Bay set the bar high last season and now they’re on everyone’s radar.

“Understanding now that the targets are on our back,” Brown said. “We have to keep having that hunting mentality. Understanding that people are hunting for us now, they’re not just looking at the schedule and saying, oh, Bay high, that’s a win.”

After losing a strong 27-player senior class, the team is looking to rebuild with a younger and less experienced roster.

“Just because we’re young doesn’t mean we don’t have athletes,” Bay senior Trevor Bowman said. “We’re all dogs here.”

Bay’s driving force last season was their hard-hitting defense that forced nearly two turnovers per game. They pulled off five consecutive shutouts, attributing the success to an aggressive game plan.

“It’s all about dark nine, five, nine for us,” Brown said.

Meaning nine players need o be within five yards of the ball ninety percent of the time.

On the offensive side of the ball, not a single returning player has scored a varsity touchdown. There is potential for a new star to shine, with plenty of depth out wide.

“We have four or five guys that at any time they can take it to the house,” Brown said. “So that’s going to that’s going to be good for us.”

Throwing to the receivers will be sophomore quarterback Zabeyon Morgan. He appeared in just one game last season, and coach Brown is making sure to back him up with a strong rushing attack.

“Whether we run the ball 15 times or we run the ball 40 times,” Brown said. “When they get the ball, they have to make plays. They have to be electric.”

With a new team comes a new motto. This year’s is ‘Deposit ’23’.

“When you go to the bank, you can’t withdraw any money if you hadn’t deposited anything,” Brown said. “We tell these guys every day, you have to deposit every day and they’re doing that. If they continue to do that, we’ll build our checking account where we have some money in there.”

The Tornadoes open the regular season at home, hosting Bay County rival Arnold on Friday, August 25.