Neither did Ricker Smither.
Terrill, the head football coach at Itawamba Community College, and Smither, Northeast's second-year boss, both endured less-than-desirable seasons in 2008. Terrill's Indians missed the playoffs for the first time in five years and Smither's Tigers stumbled to a 1-8 finish.
This Thursday night, both men can finally turn the page.
Terrill and the Indians will open the 2009 campaign when they welcome No. 14 Jones County on Thursday while the Tigers will take on visiting Hinds in Booneville. Both games are set for 7 p.m. kickoffs.
"Last year doesn't matter anymore once we get started," Terrill said. "We've had a good few weeks of practice and we're ready to get on that field. Jones County will be tough, but that's how it is in this league. There are no easy games."
For Smither, the key Thursday night is not the power of Northeast's opponent, but rather the strength of his team's will to improve on last season.
"Last year wasn't fun, not for the coaches or the players," Smither said. "This season, we went out and got some guys that fit our style a little better and the sophomores we have look hungrier this season."
A tale of two quarterbacks
Youth will be front and center for the Tigers this season, with 42 freshmen on the opening-night roster, including a brand new signal-caller. Last season, QB Clint Wilson was a senior at Olive Branch High School, leading the Quistors to playoff appearances in both seasons as a starter. This year, he's been given the responsibility of turning the Tigers' program around.
"We trust him because he's a leader and he's a winner," Smither said of his freshman quarterback. "He makes good deicision but more importantly, he leads these guys with his actions."
In Fulton, another new quarterback will take snaps for the Indians, but familiarity with the home fans will not be a problem. Former IAHS quarterback Brett Jefcoat, who spent last season redshirting at Southern Miss, will likely get the starting nod when the Indians open the season.
"He brings a lot to the position," Terrill said of Jefcoat, who led IAHS to the Class 4A semifinals as a senior. "He's a smart kid and he's good a good arm. We feel good about the quarterback spot this season."