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|CLASS 5A | REGION 1
|HEAD COACH: Ryan Summers|
|Aug 23||North Pontotoc||Away|
|Sept 6||Itawamba AHS||Home|
|Oct 3||West Point*||Away|
|Oct 11||New Hope *||Home|
|Oct 25||Center Hill*||Home|
|Nov 1||Lake Cormorant*||Away|
SALTILLO, Miss. (WCBI) — The Saltillo Tigers know how to handle new.
2018 was about adjusting to Ryan Summers as the new head coach. Now, it’s Summers having to deal with the adjustments.
The Tigers bring back a young bunch this season that’s working to fill in the gaps.
“You have to make sure that the younger guys coming in are physically and mentally ready to step into those roles. We think a lot of the young guys are. We have a lot of holes to fill and we’ll find out real quick if these guys can get it done. I think they can,” Summers said.
For the few remaining seniors, a younger team means a lot more responsibility both on the field and in the huddle.
“It means we have to step up and be leaders and be ready for what’s coming,” senior MLB Josh Deaton said.
“We don’t have very many subs but we’re trying to make the best of it,” senior safety Blake Burnett said.
While some think being younger translates into lower performance that’s not how the Tigers look at it.
“They know they can play. So, we don’t ever really discuss you’re a sophomore, you’re a freshman, you’re a junior and you need to play like a senior. We just teach them and let their competitiveness do the rest,” Summers said.
“I’ve seen a lot of very good improvements. Players stepping up and being able to come in and play from all over the place at any kind of position. Freshman stepping up and playing in a varsity game,” Burnett said.
“They’re not being kids. They’re being leaders on the team and responsible,” Deaton said.
That being said, the most experience returning is on offense and the Tigers will be the most competitive on the O-line.
“They’ve had the best camp so far. The best summer so far simply because their older. So we’re expecting big things out of them,” Summers said.
It’s going to be very difficult. You know, we have really good teams in this division but I think we’re ready to step up and play. We’re going to play very physical, very hard, and we’re going to be ready,” Burnett said.
Saltillo kicks-off the season with a road match-up at North Pontotoc on August 23rd.