GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Before Jones County's playoff appearance last season, the last time the Greyhounds played into the postseason was 2004.
"When we made it, it was a big difference walking in the lunch room and out the front," says senior tailback/defensive back JoJo Gibbons. "Everybody came out and we went all the way down the road and they were holding up signs for us."
At the start of the 2012 season, coach Dwight Jones got some inspiration from legendary coach Bobby Bowden's book: "Called to Coach: Reflections on Life, Faith and Football."
"When he won the 1993 national championship at Florida State, he said he realized they had a chance
to win the national championship when every member of the football team was going to hold the rope for each other," Jones says. "And that means everybody.. It doesn't mean just the starters, but it means everybody on the football team."
So what exactly is "holding the rope?"
"It's a family thing," says senior tight end Matt Johnson. "On the field, we all hold the rope for each other, so if someone's slacking, you've got to make sure they hold the rope."
Imagine you're holding on to a piece of rope and you're hanging over the edge of a cliff, thousands of feet in the air. You'd probably want someone you trusted pretty well to be on the other end.
"We know through anything, we can look that person in the eye and tell each other that we did it and we didn't tell no story," Gibbons says.
"Hold the Rope" is more than just a few words.
Jones bought a spool of rope from the local hardware store, cut the rope into individual pieces and gave a piece to every player. He has his own pieces hanging in his office.
"Our first year we put the purple tape on it, this year we put the gold tape on it," Jones says. "Next year, I guess we'll have to go gold on one end and purple on one end, but it's a great motivational piece for us because you see it every day. If you see something everyday, I think you're going to really think about what you're trying to accomplish."
The slogan has actually found its way into the community. If you catch a game in Gray, you can hear the fans chanting it from the stands.
They'll have to be extra loud Thursday night in Warner Robins' McConnell-Talbert Stadium when the 4-2 Greyhounds take on the No. 1 5A team in the state--the undefeated Northside Eagles--at 7 p.m.