BELMONT, N.C. – First-year South Point head coach Adam Hodge is living the dream.

The 2004 South Point graduate, who helped the school win a state championship during his senior season in 2003, was handed the reins with the retirement of Mickey Lineberger following a state championship season last year.

“I’ve been here a long time, got to witness some good teams,” Hodge said. “I’ve been around some good coaches. Coach Lineberger, coach Tate, coach Devine, just to name a few.”

It would be understandable for a first-year head coach to be a bit overwhelmed, especially a tradition-rich program such as South Point. But not Hodge, who’s been a part of the program for going on 14 years in 2017.

His philosophy is simple.

“If it ain’t (sic) broke, don’t fix it,” Hodge said. “We’re not going to change a whole lot. We’re going to do what we’ve been doing.

“We believe in working hard and that’s how you get it done. You work hard every day and try to be as good as you can every Friday.”

South Point opens the season with three straight road games, including trips to Crest and Lincolnton. With over a dozen starters returning, including nine on offense, Hodge knows he’ll need to rely on their experience in case things go arye.

“The big thing is you know you’ve got leaders,” he said. “You don’t have to deal with a lot of the in-house problems you might have if you go in somewhere you don’t know the kids.”

The Raiders started last season at 2-4 before rattling off 10 straight wins to claim the school’s fifth state championship.