Targets on Jacksboro's Backs

Targets on Jacksboro's Backs

One of the most surprising teams in high school football last season was the Jacksboro Tigers.

After going just 2-8 two seasons ago, the Tigers made a complete turnaround last year, finishing with a 9-3 record and winning their first playoff game in nine years.

"After we went 2-and-8, we just talked about changing the culture," said Head Coach Brian Hodnett. "We talked about the attitude that had to change, the work ethic that had to change."

"We played hard last year, because we were the underdog," says senior quarterback and linebacker Kirk Weldon. "We were mad, we wanted to show everybody that we can win."

Senior lineman Garret Johnson said, "We just came together as like a brother hood and made a run for it."

The Tigers are an experienced group this year. They return seven starters on both sides of the ball including Weldon, who threw for over 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns last season.

A star athlete on both offense and defense, Weldon will be a key player for Jacksboro this year.

"He has a lot of passion, he just always plays hard and gives his best," Coach Hodnett says. "He's just one of those guys that I think he makes the people around him better."

This year will have a different feel for the veterans on this team.

They'll enter this season not as an underdog, but as the favorites in their district. They understand they will have a target on their backs in each game they play.

"Guys are going to throw their very best at us every night that we line up and play," Coach Hodnett said.

"The worst thing that can happen is that we can get conceited and just believe everything that they are saying," added Weldon.

Winning the district and making a deep playoff run is the goal of most high school football teams, but there are few out there who actually have the chance to do so.

Be on the lookout for the Tigers this season; they just might make a run at history.

"It would mean wonders for these kids to take this program from where it was 3 or 4 years ago to playing deep into December," Hodnett said. "Words can't really express what that would do."

"I don't think there is words to explain that," said Weldon. "Like I said, I've been wanting to do this since I was little. Having my best friends do it with me, that'd be just amazing."

The Tigers open their season on the road against Tuscola Jim Ned on August 30th.