Tigers open football season Friday against Jerome
The Mountain Home Tigers open their 2008 football season Friday night at home against the Jerome Tigers.
Mountain Home is coming off a successful trip to the University of Oregon Football Camp in June where Tiger head football coach Brian Floyd says they competed against some "very good" competition.
"The kids had a great time. Everything worked out very well for us. We played some very, very tough teams there. We ended up making it to the championship game, but lost to Shasta, out of Redding (Calif.). They were pretty good."
Coach Floyd is in his fourth season as head coach of the Tigers, and indicated this year's turnout for football has been good.
"We had a really good turnout, considering we all have zero-week games and we start earlier. It's hard to get that information out to the parents and things like that, but I'm sure we'll pick up another 15-20 kids once school starts, but it was a good turnout all over, with about 35 per team."
Floyd lost a number of seniors, including all-state players Chris Knudson and Matt Ward, but he likes the nucleus he has coming back.
"Losing (Chris) Knudson and (Matt) Ward is going to be hard to replace, with both First Team All-State defensive players, but I really think Billy Derome will fill in for Ward, and I think Jacob Viola will fill in for Chris Knudson, on offense and on defense. They both have been doing very well. They both had good Oregon Camps.
"Viola was a little bit slower to get on, but now he's taken off the last week and a half, once we got into camp, and I expect some really good things out of those two players."
Coach Floyd also lost Jake Posey at the quarterback position to graduation, but Kyle Kerfoot, who saw limited action last year at quarterback has looked impressive in camp and practice.
"Kyle had a great Oregon camp and he's had great practices since then," said Floyd. "He's really done everything we've wanted in the structure of our offense, and we've been able to put up a lot of points against some very good teams when we were at camp, so that's good!"
Floyd had plenty of good things to say about this year's linemen.
"The line is actually better than last year. It probably is the best I've had here.
"We return three starters, and we had a transfer come in, and he's helping out a lot.
"Probably our only sophomore on the team, Adam Miller, is going to get significant playing time on the line as well. We're very athletic and strong and have a lot of speed there."
Coach Floyd sees the conference race as being very tough this year, with no weak teams.
"Most all the teams return a lot of people, from the top to the bottom, whether it's Middleton, or even Skyview. They were so young last year, they even had some freshmen and sophomores starting on their varsity last year, so they're going to be much better. The SIC is going to be very, very competitive this year."
The Tigers are coming off a 5-3 season that saw them lose just two conference games, but they were losses to Bishop Kelly and Kuna that kept them out of the playoffs.
"We'd like to break through this year," said Coach Floyd. "We've been so close the last few years and little things have kept us out of there, but I really think this group is coming together well.
"They're probably one of the best teams, as in team concept, that we've had here. The 2006 team was a pretty good team, but it took them six or seven games to get going and get rolling, and this team's been doing that from the start.
"The seniors have taken over, and it's kind of their team and they keep everybody in line. We have 32-33 seniors and we have a lot of guys that are returning for us on offense and defense and they have got into it and they've been jelling very well."
The Tigers open at home Friday night against the Jerome Tigers in a non-conference game. Coach Floyd expects a real battle from them.
"They are a very good team. They go no-huddle, with a lot of spread kind of schemes that they run. They return a lot of kids from last year, and this is the team that put 46 points up on Pocatello last year, so we've definitely got to keep our defense off the field and get a lot of three-and-outs. They're going to be very ready to play us."
The game begins Friday night at 7 p.m. against the Jerome Tigers at Tiger Field in Mountain Home.