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South Side Eyes Another Trip to State

By Justin Walters
By jwalters@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - South Side experienced a banner season last year: the Region 7-AA Championship, along with a trip to the state tournament championship.

This year is different. The Hawks are without Mr. Basketball finalist AJ Merriweather.

"AJ brought a lot of fire to the team," head coach Damonn Fuller said. "We're hoping our seniors can create the same presence. We're going to have to work a little bit harder to obtain the same success we had last year."

Despite Merriweather's loss, South Side returns three of their five starters from last year's unit. A majority of this season's leadership falls on the shoulders of senior Jaylen Barford and juniors Malik Hicks and Chris McNeal.

"Malik, Jaylen and Chris are stepping up tremendously," Fuller said. "They're going to try to give us a presence on both ends of the floor."

With the new alignment of the District 14-AA, district champion Liberty is no longer in the picture with the Hawks.

The main goal in the Hawks' nest this year is to return back to state and bring the gold ball. In order to do that, Woods explains it will be collective effort.

"We're coming to play. We're going to compete every night and give each team the best we can give them."