ELECTRA, TX (KAUZ) - On Monday, we continue our Training Camp Road Trip with a look at the Electra Tigers! They're coming off an 8-win season -- their best win total in 20 years -- and also made a run to the regional finals in basketball.
This year, with a lot of players back, they're looking to go even further, with a district title and more.
"We're excited about it," said 3rd-year head coach Todd Doughty. "We had a good year last year, good year in basketball, had a good spring in track, and our kids are feeling confident about themselves, and we're excited to be here today."
"We have a lot of the same players playing football as we do basketball," said senior Andrew Marsh, who plays running back and corner on the field and guard on the court. "It's just like a big family and you enjoy every minute of it."
The Tigers return 14 letter winners, with 7 starters on offense and 6 on defense back from last year.
"I think we have a lot of people in key positions coming back," said senior running back, receiver and defensive end Clayton Holmes. "I think that'll help us a lot this year."
"Well I think our biggest strength is, number one, we have a lot of kids coming back," Doughty said. "Number two, is our speed. I think our overall team speed is good. And we're going to try to accentuate that and play to that."
"We're not really that big," admits Marsh. "So we have to use our speed to our advantage."
They will need to replace last year's quarterback, Markeis Lee. Enter Drake Cooper, who was a star last year averaging over 100 yards per game on the ground, with 17 touchdowns.
"Drake's a very good player," said coach Doughty. "If the biggest problem I have is Drake playing quarterback, then we're gonna be fine. "
"Drake and Markeis are different," Holmes said. "Because Markeis is a little bit faster, but I think Drake's more elusive, and he might be a little bit harder to tackle."
"Drake is a different kind of player, but he's a good player," Doughty said. "We'll build the offense around his strengths, now."
On the defensive side, senior defensive lineman Xavier Waggoner leads an experienced front-seven. He and linebacker Montanna Hernandez officially combined for 274 tackles a year ago.
"I think, just our front-seven coming back," Doughty mentioned as a strength for the defense. "We have a lot of kids you know, Xavier, we've got Montanna, a couple of all-state players. We've got some very good other players that are coming back. We have to rebuild our secondary a little bit, but again, team speed. Any time you can run defensively, it's a positive thing."
The new District 7-2A Div. II is a tough one, from top to bottom. The good news for the Tigers is the two teams who beat them in district a year ago, Hamlin and Seymour, leave and are replaced by Quanah and Haskell, who both fell to Electra last season.
"You know, I've been saying for a couple years, we play in the toughest 2A Division 2 district in the state," Doughty said. "Certainly, if you look at some of the pre-district polls, you could see as many as four different teams ranked in the top 20 in the state, so I mean it's certainly a challenging district."
The Tigers will open their season on Friday, August 26th at home against former district rival Seymour.
Tuesday night, we'll finish Class 2A, Division 2 with the Petrolia Pirates!
Electra Tigers 2016 Schedule
Aug. 26 vs Seymour, 7:30
Sept. 2 vs Frederick, OK, 7:30
Sept. 9 at City View, 7:30
Sept. 16 at Alvord, 7:30
Sept. 23 vs Windthorst, 7:30
Sept. 30 BYE
Oct. 7 at Haskell, 7*
Oct. 14 at Munday, 7*
Oct. 21 vs Petrolia, 7*
Oct. 28 at Quanah, 7*
Nov. 4 vs Archer City, 7*