The Electra Tigers are in yet another off-season of change. They're adjusting to a new head coach for the third time in four seasons, with the offensive and defensive changes that go along with it.
"It's been a good, smooth, easy transition," new coach Todd Doughty said. "I've really enjoyed myself."
The phrase "new Electra head football coach" has gotten a little worn out recently. Doughty is the fourth coach of the Tigers in five seasons, following Steve Stewart (2007-2010), Keith Ivy (2011) and Mark Young (2012-13).
"It's different, just from going from another head coach, to another," said senior lineman Tre' Jones. "But I think our team has high expectations for ourselves. And I believe that we'll be very successful."
Part of that confidence comes from an increase in turnout this season. Last year the team played several games with barely over the minimum eleven players just to field a team.
"We had like, 14, I think, in the end," said senior fullback and linebacker Payton Robertson. "So, [we played] both sides of the ball, the entire time."
This year, Coach Doughty said they had about forty or fifty kids out for most of their summer work.
"We've got a good number of kids out," he said. "We believe that we're probably going to [be able to] play a JV team this year."
"It's a lot deeper, actually," Jones said. "I'm used to having to go in for about four or five plays, come out for about two, come back in. This year, we get about four different groups coming in."
That will be very helpful as Doughty implements a new offense and defense he thinks will help maximize the Tigers' talented skill players.
On offense they'll run a Slot-T, which is a variation on the popular Wing-T formation which Vernon and Burkburnett have brought back recently with good success.
"It's a lot different," Robertson, the fullback, said. "In the other offense, I blocked a lot. But, this year, I'm hoping to change it up and help the team."
On defense they'll move to a 3-4 front.
"I think it's gonna be a lot better," Robertson said. "We'll have a lot more coverage, people in better spots."
"The biggest transition that we have right now is putting in a new offensive and defensive scheme," Coach Doughty said. "You know, it's slow on the start."
Still, Jones thinks his team will be able to pick it up quickly. "It's not really that much of a change," he said. "We're just going to go out there, knock heads with somebody, go get the ball."
The Tigers will open up their season with a tough test, opening up Henrietta's newly-turfed Bearcat Stadium on August 29th.
Electra Tigers 2014 Schedule
Aug. 29 at Henrietta, 7:30
Sep. 5 vs Frederick (Okla.), 7
Sep. 12 at Quanah, 7:30
Sep. 19 vs Olney, 7:30
Sep. 26 at Archer City, 7:30
Oct. 3 BYE
Oct. 10 vs Haskell*, 7
Oct. 17 vs Munday*, 7
Oct. 24 at Seymour*, 7
Oct. 31 vs Hamlin*, 7
Nov. 7 at Petrolia*, 7