Despite limited bench, Tigers hope to improve on last year's 2-7 season
The Mountain Home Tigers open their 2010 football season Friday night at Tiger Field against the Jerome Tigers.
Mountain Home will try to improve upon last year's 2-7 season, despite having what Tiger head football coach Brian Floyd calls, "dismal" numbers out this year.
"We have about 40 to 46 depending upon the day for JV and varsity. We have a lot of guys hurt, and they'll be coming back, but our first pre-season games we aren't going to have a lot of people.
"We've been doing a lot of running and conditioning, because we know we're going to need everybody out there."
While Coach Floyd lacks quantity, he does have good quality in the players that are out.
"The players that we have are very good, we just need those extra players that really help out in key situations. We need that solid back-up, like we've had on those great teams that we've had in the past.
"All the players that we have out here are going to play, and they're all contributing right now. It's just by the end of practice they're dead-beat tired, because they're not many of us, so we've got to make sure we get them into shape, but not in shape so they get injured.
"With school starting, hopefully we'll get more out -- we already got three more today, so that should really help."
Coach Floyd sees the conference race this year to be wide open.
"It's a typical SIC year. Bishop Kelly's going to be good. Columbia's extremely fast.They're good, I think we're very good. It's all going to come down to the focus of our kids. Middleton's always good, they've got great coaching over there. It's going to be a dogfight every single week."
Coach Floyd says Tiger fans can expect to see lots of speed and lots of scoring from his squad this year.
"We're going back to the spread again and spread everybody out and use our speed. Our line is extremely fast.
"I've kind of moved a lot of people around. We have people that were wide receivers and couldn't catch, and now they're going to be our linemen. They're not going to be that big, but we're extremely fast and I think we can beat people to the point of attack on offense and really get after people. I think we should be putting up a lot of points every single game. We have a lot of weapons that we can use.
"We've got a lot of returners. We've got a lot of experience, and as long as the O-line keeps progressing like they have been and uses the tenacity, which they've been showing, I think we can put up a lot of points.
"Defensive-wise, I think we're solid. We have returners on every single level, and good returners -- very good returners. I think Tyler (Wright) and Deon (Brown) are some of the best D-linemen in the state, and then you add Curtis (Jackson) down there, and our three-man line is those guys, and that's extremely powerful for us.
"We've got Colton (Zamora) back at linebacker and we've got other guys that have got time at linebacker.
"We have (J.T.) Cristobal back and Jake Hennessey back in the secondary. We have a lot of weapons and we can do a lot of damage.
"A lot of it is how the ball bounces I guess. We've got to be a little bit lucky here and there and make sure we get away from those key injuries, and as long as we focus and take care of our jobs, I think we'll be very good."
Mountain Home opens its season this Friday night at home against the Jerome Tigers and Coach Floyd hopes to be ready for them.
"I've been working on a lot of new things on defense. We're really more adaptable to anything that people throw at us, and last year, where it was hard for us to deal with teams that were spread out and wide open because we were a little bit slower, this year we don't have that problem.
"I think we can match up skill-wise and size-wise with everybody on defense. On offense, every D-line we play is probably going to be a little bigger than us, but I think with our speed that's there, and having Curtis Jackson, Austin (Clark) and (Juan) Silva run, we've got compliments of weapons there, and all of those guys had really good camps, so we're looking forward to it."
Friday night's game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Tiger Field in Mountain Home.