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.