(WTVM) - Northside's baseball team looks to build on an historic 2016.
They won the region for the first time in school history a year ago, earning a top seed in the playoffs. That target on their back gets bigger come February, and with a lot of pieces to replace it can be a tough task to get to the top of the mountain.
It's not a new feeling for these Patriots.
"The challenge every year is kind of the same, you've just got a different group of guys," said head coach Dee Miller said. "I told them earlier today when we met before practice that we're going to coach them a little different like we do every year, every team's a little different. A lot of pieces to replace, but I'm excited about the guys and their opportunity."
"I know our guys have been working hard and I know that some younger guys have been especially working hard because we've got some spots to fill," senior shortstop Dalton Bradford said, "but I believe that if they step up we can have just the same season, win region again if we have to."
The season starts February 13 for the Patriots as they look for back-to-back region titles.