SANDHILLS, Fla. (WMBB) – The Bozeman football team is entering the 2022 season with high expectations under returning junior quarterback, Peyton Gay.

The Bucks currently hold the longest active streak of reaching the postseason in Bay County (4) and head coach Jason Griffin said they are no longer considered underdogs.

“Having that expectation is sort of where we’re at right now,” Griffin said. “We expect this team to compete for the postseason, we expect this team to not only to compete to be in the postseason but also maybe have a chance to do some things in the postseason. So, there are expectations here, and that’s a double edge sword, these guys have to rise to that challenge, I expect these guys to do the work and give themselves an opportunity.”

Bozeman is returning a massive front line and some talented skill players, but their biggest returning has to be rising junior quarterback, Peyton Gay.

Gay has spent the past couple of years leading the Bucks as an underclassman, and Bozeman senior tackle DJ Moore said he is undoubtedly the team leader.

“He has a lot of football knowledge,” Moore said. “Not only is he athletic, he has a lot of football knowledge and he knows when to step up in the pocket, he knows when to drop back, he knows where all of his receivers are at all times. So, even if there are a couple of mess-ups on the line, there’s bound to be, it’s football, I’m confident that he can make a decision to make a good play out of it regardless.”

The junior quarterback has multiple years of playoff experience, and helped lead the Bozeman baseball team to the Class 1A State Finals. He said big game moments are where he thrives most.

“I’m not really scared of any situation right now, haven’t been since I was probably 12,” Gay said. “Been through a lot of situations like that, I’ve fulfilled almost every one of them and I don’t think that’s a big deal for me, I’ll fulfill it. I just have to keep their heads up and get them to realize that you can do it and it can be done.”

The Bucks have a tough 2022 schedule, with every team they face either in a larger classification or having made the playoffs in 2021.

Griffin said that while he has had some talented teams in the past, this group could be the best one yet.

“I’ve been doing this quite a while and every now and then you have a feeling about a team, and I’ve got a great feeling about this football team,” Griffin said.

Bozeman will open their preseason at home, hosting Bay County for Arnold in the Kickoff Classic on August 19.