The 2012 high school football season has arrived.
Last Friday morning saw the checkout of football gear and Friday evening was the kick-off dinner.
Two-a-day practices started on Monday, and this Saturday will be a pancake feed and Black and Orange scrimmage at Legacy Park.
Aaron Rodney was hired last spring to take over the Tiger football program and has worked hard at getting his program going, starting with the weight room program.
"We had quite a few kids out this summer in the weight room -- in the mid 40s -- and we've been lifting four days a week doing our program," said Coach Rodney. "We were starting at seven in the morning and the kids have been really good at getting down there at 7 a.m. The attendance has been really good and the best thing I like about it is the kids are holding each other accountable. We have a very good group of kids... and it's really starting to come together."
Coach Rodney and his staff took the varsity and JV players to a football camp in Gold Beach, Ore., last month, where they competed against five other teams.
"The first thing I want to do is complement our kids," said Coach Rodney. "We didn't have one complaint from the bus drivers, from the community at Gold Beach or from the staff at Gold Beach. We even had compliments at how well our kids behaved, and that was very pleasing.
"We went there with 43 kids, varsity and JV, and we spent a lot of time on working on fundamentals, as we felt our kids were lacking fundamentally, and spent a lot of time working individually, and we went to scrimmages and stuff like that, and that was the big question mark -- how would we do when we had pads on going against other teams.
"We went out there and matched it up, and did very well. Our guys didn't quit, they competed and they played hard, and as a result, we won most of our scrimmages.
"We were able to move the ball offensively, and that's with maybe only a third of the offense in, but... we were able to run the ball fairly effectively, and were able to throw the ball a bit as well. We had a few too many drops than I'd like to see by our receivers, but overall, we're getting better.
"Defensively, team-wise, we were able to compete and hold some teams up, and give a few offenses fits, so that was very pleasing. I think we came out of Gold Beach a little further along than I thought we were. I think the bus is going in the right direction. We have miles to go yet, but it's definitely getting there and this is the direction we want to be headed."
The pancake feed is set for 9 a.m. Saturday morning in Richard Aguirre Park, followed by the Black and Orange scrimmage at 10:30 a.m.
The Tigers have a jamboree at Columbia at 6 p.m. on Aug.17, and play their first game of the season Aug. 24 at Tiger Field against the Jerome Tigers.