High School Football Tour: Saltillo High School

Saltillo High School Tigers

SALTILLO, Miss. (WCBI) - Not many coaches can say they have 16 returning starters, only needing to replace a few players on both sides of the ball. Fourth-year head coach Pat Byrd has that luxury with his Saltillo Tigers in 2013.

18 seniors lead a team that went 7-5 last year, losing in the first round of the 5A playoffs.

Aug 23 DeSoto Central home
Aug 30 Pontotoc away
Sept 6 Itawamba Ag home
Sept 13 Tupelo home
Sept 20 Baldwyn away
Sept 27 Lake Cormorant* away
Oct 4 Oxford* home
Oct 11 Clarksdale* away
Oct 18 Center Hill* away
Oct 25 West Point* away
Nov 1 Lewisburg* away
Nov 8 New Hope* home
*District games

“Anytime you’ve got that much experience, your expectations have to go up. Not just seniors, we’ve got a lot of guys that played a lot of minutes last year as sophomores and juniors. So, we have a lot of experience and that’s a good thing when you’re a football coach,” Byrd said.

Defensively, Byrd says the key players will be safety Colby Hall, who’s started since his freshmen year, and defensive end Jalen Hadley, who’s played the past three seasons.

Leading the offense is senior QB Tyler Tollison. He played in a backup role in 2012.

“He’s a kid that does it right everyday. He loves to practice, he comes to work everyday. Last year he was our backup quarterback. He played some running back. He played some slot receiver, some safety for us. He can kind of fit wherever you need him to go,” Byrd said.

Tollison is confident that the Tigers will have a successful season.

“I just feel like we’re going to have a good season,” Tollison said. “There’s a lot of guys coming back. I just feel like we’re going to have a very productive season. We’ve had a good offseason so far. I just feel like we’re going to take a big step this year.”

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