This year, the Wildcats will have one big question to answer: how will it follow up a 8-3 season after losing its best player, Tee Higgins, to the Clemson Tigers?

"You never want to lose a guy like Tee Higgins, with his talent and his greatness," said Oak Ridge head coach Joe Gaddis, "but, a case could be made that we could be a little more difficult to defend."

Gaddis said that often times last year, the team would force the ball to Higgins because of his playmaking ability.

"We will now, for certain, spread the ball around to more people."

Senior quarterback Johnny Stewart will be the one throwing the ball. Last year was not only his first as a starter, but his first as a quarterback.

"I feel much different," Stewart said, "I feel a lot more confident."

He won't have to do it on his own though, Gaddis and Stewart point to players like wide receiver Caleb Martin and running back Jordan Graham to help carry the load for the Wildcats in 2017.

Oak Ridge will open the season at home on August 18 against Hardin Valley.