The Tigers will strap on the helmets and battle it out with visiting Mayer on Friday in the 8-man football season opener. Kick off is set for 7 p.m.
It’s a game coach Braden Davis and the Tigers are eagerly anticipated.
In preparation for the opener, the Tigers, playing out of the 1A South Region, played in a controlled scrimmage on Friday in Tombstone with the Yellowjackets and Valley Union.
“We were pleased, particularly with our defense,” said Davis. “Neither team scored against our varsity and I don’t think there were more than a couple first downs. We were able to move the ball well against both teams and didn’t fail to score or make first downs. That being said, we’ve a lot to improve on — basic fundamental stuff — and still need to fill and shore up some spots due to injuries that occurred late last week.
To be successful, the Tigers must “... continue to level up, every practice, every drill, every day. We expect to be in the playoff mix, but we have to continue to work hard to meet those expectations,” said Davis, who is expecting a tough matchup for Friday’s opener.
“Mayer should be improved, and we expect another battle like last year. It’s essential that we continue working hard and getting sharper, leveling up. We throw and catch the ball well, but need to continue working on our timing and blocking, and our defense needs to be solid.”
The Tigers are poised to step it up and return to the ranks of perennial power off the heels of last season’s 5-4 overall record following a couple of down years.
Logan Davis returns as quarterback with Robby Gooding, who Coach Davis referred to as a “tremendous athlete and gifted receiver” will play multiple positions, including times in the backfield and under center. Talon Haynie at running back should carry the brunt of the load with receivers Reo Larson and Skyler Merrill providing ample targets for quarterback Davis.
“Kason Jacquez presents a tough match up at tight end with his size, strength, and hands,” Davis noted. “Bobcat Pacheco, Brayden Merrill, Jimmy De La Cruz, Jake Goodman, Simon Pliler, and Payton Dixon will continue to work at line. “We don’t have a lot of guys, so we teach kids multiple positions on both sides of the ball. Most of them will play ironman football, going both ways. We also have a big crop of talented freshmen, so we’re excited about our junior varsity team this year. Thanks to our middle school football program, these freshmen have at least three years of football experience under their belt, which helps tremendously.”