Tyler Junior College Apache football has been busy getting ready for the fall.
The team just finished its Signing Day and is now going through spring training, which givescoaches an opportunity to view players in on the field activities as they fill positions for the 2008 fall season roster.
“The thing about spring ball is to get a good look at the players we have coming back in the fall,” said Assistant Head Coach Ryan Mahon.
“The interesting part is having to watch these guys compete for starting positions. The players also have to take in consideration of the guys that we recruited and how they are going to make an impact on the team next season.”
“So we have to keep a balance of the players we already have and the freshman we have got coming in so that we can get a starting roster.”
The Apaches have signed more than 40 players including District MVPs Chris Lenoir and Brian Eurysthee, so it will be extremely difficult to found out which freshman coming out of high school will make the starting roster next fall.
“It all depends on what Coach Palmer wants. He is the boss and he has a large part of how he wants things,” said Mahon. “He will get the final say so of things to come.”
Not only is the coaching staff ready for next season, but the players are as while.
“We can expect a good balance on our offense. Our strength is our offensive line, running backs, and we have some play makers in the wide receiver core,” said Wide Receiver Roderick Sheppard.
“Defensively, you can expect a lock-down defense. We have a good defensive line that can pressure the quarterback, and we have the defensive backs covering the receivers doing their jobs. So overall, expect us to have a good defensive presence,” said defensive back Chris Lomax.
There will be plenty of competition for the Apaches with rivals such as Cisco, Blinn, and Kilgore College in the same conference.
“This league is very competitive. You have to give it your all every single game, so you can’t take anybody lightly or they will come out and nip you in the tail. So we have tried to get ready for every opponent that we have to face on our schedule,” said Mahon.
“The teams I’m ready to play are Kilgore and Blinn. I’m ready to play Blinn because of what happened last year on our homecoming game. And Kilgore is our biggest rival, so we will always be ready to play them. But we are ready for next fall and we will show people how better we have gotten,” said Sheppard.
Last year the Apaches struggled, ending with a record of 5-4. But the Apaches are no longer looking back. They’re moving forward. This will be football’s second season under Head Coach Danny Palmer.
“Expect more excitement, because we plan to win more games. We have good players from all over the nation and we already have good players on the team now. So we will have a better season than last year,” said Lomax.