The Atlanta Rabbits have been knocking on the door for championships the last couple of seasons, and 2016 figures to be another banner year.

Atlanta, which returns several key performers from last year's state quarterfinalist squad, begins the year ranked No. 8 in's Preseason Class 4A Poll.

The Rabbits have been to the quarterfinals in each of the last two seasons, only to see the run end at the hands of the Gilmer Buckeyes, who are now a member of Atlanta's district.

Among the four offensive starters returning are quarterback Layton Henson, running back Kelton Young, and lineman Ethan Mauldin.

Defensively is where the Rabbits should shine brightest this year.

Atlanta welcomes back Division I recruits Tristan Allen and Desmond Robinson at linebacker, as two of the team's six returning defensive starters.

2016 Atlanta Rabbits Schedule

Aug. 26at HendersonL 44-13
Sept. 2DaingerfieldW 41-6
Sept. 9OPEN
Sept. 16at Liberty-EylauW 31-26
Sept. 23New BostonW 52-0
Sept. 30TatumW 53-35
Oct. 7*at PittsburgL 56-20
Oct. 14*Pleasant GroveW 14-7
Oct. 21*at GladewaterL 22-7
Oct. 28*GilmerL 47-28
Nov. 4*at Spring HillW 27-20 Preseason Class 4A Poll