PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) – It is officially the beginning of a new era at Princeton Senior High School.
Longtime Head Coach Chris Pedigo stepped away from the program during the offseason, and the Tigers will now be led by first-year Head Coach Keith Taylor.
Players told 59News Coach Taylor’s enthusiasm is bringing a lot of excitement to the program.
“It’s been a different level of energy, man. He sweats more than we do,” said Senior Offensive and Defensive Lineman Eli Campbell. “He’s always dancing around and singing along to our music. It’s pretty impressive.”
“God gives us gifts. Mine is to get people excited and run around, so I try to take advantage of it and do my thing,” said Taylor.
On the field, the Tigers are trying to follow up a successful 2022 season.
Princeton racked up wins in rivalry games against Bluefield, Oak Hill and Woodrow Wilson, but ultimately fell just short in the first round of the state playoffs.
This year, the Tigers are building their identity up front, behind a young but very imposing offensive line.
“We go as far as our offensive line goes,” said Coach Taylor. “We’re going to be good up front because we’re going to be physical and we’re going to be nasty.”
“It’s a lot of youth, but a lot of strong guys with a lot of athleticism,” Campbell added.
On the outside, the Tigers bring back arguably the best wide receiver in the state, as superstar playmaker Dominick Collins returns for his senior season.
Collins told 59News his inspiration to become a dominant receiver came at a young age, watching clips of WVU’s Tavon Austin running circles around defenders.
“We’re both kind of built the same. We’re both really small, which makes it hard for us to get recruited. But our speed makes up for it, and nobody can touch us on the field,” said Collins.
The Tigers are yet to name a starting quarterback for the season, but whoever wins the job should be well protected, with a dynamic top receiving target.