Experienced Defense Will Lead Tigers

With the offense only returning four starters, Tiger fans have to hope that the defense will be able to carry the Tigers in the early part of the season and the good thing is that it should be up to the task.  The Tigers return 8 starters from last year's defense which was tough all year but had problems in matchups with Ennis and Texas High.

One big change fans will notice is that the Tigers will no longer be using the familiar 4-3 that they have employed for many years.  New defensive coordinator Scott Doring brings a 4-2-5 scheme from Denton Ryan which should help the Tigers prepare for the passing attacks that have taken over 4A football.

Starting up front the Tigers return two standout tackles in Lionel Gillespie and district newcomer of the year Richard McJunkins.  Both Gillespie and McJunkins improved with every game and were forces in the middle by the end of the year.  The ends will be new but having those anchors in the middle will be key.

The linebackers should be Brandon Capehart and Jeremy Powers who were both excellent last year.  Both Capehart and Powers had some injuries last year that were more a product of wrong place wrong time than anything else.  Having both of those guys back should give the team a solid force in the middle to stabilize the defense.

The defensive backs should be one of the big strengths of the team.  Standout Ray Sims will lead the secondary (with some consideration to how much offense he plays) this season after playing next to Jonte Manning the past two years.  Tomario Cleveland is back along with Michael Andrews and Decorian Smith to give the Tigers a strong, experienced nucleus to work with.  Also at the 7 on 7 tournament the young newcomers looked good and should provide some great depth for the team.