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Tygers Focusing On Week 1 Win

Story By: Brian Skowronski

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 8/26/2013

It may be an old cliche, but it's one that just about every football coach swears by. Focusing on one game at a time and never looking beyond the week at hand. But perhaps this reign's true a little bit more during the opening week of the season, where everybody want's to kick off their campaign at 1-0.

This is at least the case over at Mansfield Senior with a Tygers bunch hungry for a week one victory.

"We always want to start fast." Head coach Chioke Bradley says. "We want to come out and get that first game like any other football program. It'll catapult you through the rest of your season."

"The first game starts off your season, so you want to start up with a win to build up your confidence." Says senior right guard Tarence Brooks.

As one of just two starters back on the offensive line for the Tygers, Brooks says he's stepped up his role as a leader and is helping bring along some of the other guys. The offensive line is the one component of the game that coach Bradley said needed the most work this offseason and he feels it has improved tremendously from the start of camp.

"We improved in some of the area's we wanted to improve in." Bradley says. "Our offensive line was a concern and I think our coaches did a good job of getting our kids better."

A phase of the game the Tygers will likely be able to rely on this season is the passing game with senior quarterback Jalen Reese back for his second year as a full-time starter. Reese welcomes back veteran targets like Chek Washington and tight end Mitch Nixon, but his newest weapon stands head and shoulders above them all.

Six-foot-six-inch Robert Jones is taking a card out of former basketball teammate Keon Johnson's hand by joining the football squad for his senior year. Jones has made his presence known throughout camp with elite leaping ability and soft hands, attributes he says are very similar to those he displays on the hardwood.

Catching a football is "Just like rebounding a basketball." Says Jones. "Just jumping up and catching the ball. I want to do what I can to help this team win and help them succeed because they were good last year, but I want to help them build and get better this year."

Despite his virtually seamless transition from basketball forward to wide receiver, Jones says he actually prefers playing defense so he can hit people. He says he's trying to get some work at strong safety but is willing to play wherever the team needs him to.

Jones and fellow hooper Donovyn Benson, who at 6' 7" will be playing on the offensive front, may prove to be a big factor for Mansfield Senior throughout the season. But as the Tygers said, it all starts with Big Walnut at Arlin Field this Friday.

The Tygers and Golden Eagles will kick off Friday at 7 p.m. and can be seen on the WMFD Game of the Week at midnight and again at 8:30 on Saturday morning.

   
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