The Tyler Junior College football team is gearing up for another season, but without many returning starters and a young team, they will have their work cut out for them.
After ending the 2008-2009 season one win over .500 (5-4) the team is hoping to improve that record by making a decent playoff run and possibly ending the year at a junior college bowl game.
Returning linebacker Roger Trammell said that the team is ready and has much potential.
“Our team is young and very talented,” he said. “We get along pretty well and have great team chemistry.”
The defense has six returning players, which means there are a lot of new faces.
“We have tons of playmakers,” Trammell said. “Our defense resembles that of TCU’s defense.They had one of the most solid defenses and caused a lot of turnovers last season.”
Offensively, the team is ready to put up points. Coach Danny Palmer said he’s always wanted to throw the football, meaning he’s always wanted to be more of a passing team, but hasn’t been able to due to lack of depth in the receiving position.
Now that the team has more than enough receivers, this could be the season where they get to throw the ball more. The team has different quarterbacks for different things. Michael Cook, the starting quarterback as of now, is more of a passing QB. He will be sharing time with another quarterback, Vincent McNeil. McNeil is more of a rush or running QB.
Don Brown, a returning TJC running back, has been seeing a lot of playing time. In one of the first games he had two touchdowns and over 100 rushing yards. The passing game is helping his game out as well.
“I don’t mind the pass game,” he said. “It definitely opens up the run a little bit for me.”
The offense would not be as good and confident as they are without the help of the offensive line. The “O-Line” has a big challenge ahead of them, being that a lot of them are not as experienced as some of the returning players.
“The line is young, but they work hard and are ready to face the challenges of the season,” Brown said.
The team is also looking forward to working with the few players that have transferred to join TJC’s young team. They are hoping that with good team chemistry, they can tackle the more difficult teams, like the game that is coming up on Oct. 3 against Blinn College.
“That game should be tough,”Trammell said. “They beat the number one ranked team, Butler, last week.”
The game against Blinn is at home at 3 p.m. so the team will have their home crowd behind them cheering them on. All home games are played at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Coach Palmer is looking forward to getting their successful season underway.
“I’m as excited about this football team as I ever have been about any of my years coaching,” Palmer said.