One Degree” is the team’s focus this year, referring to staying focused and keeping our efforts on track. This was no easy task as injuries and loss of a coach plagued the lions over the course of 4 months.
The season started on August 18th with a scrimmage against Dallas FBA and TACA. As coach said this would be our first time hitting someone else.
Our second scrimmage was against Frisco Legacy on August 25th. Scores were not kept, but we played well, and technically won.
“We had a rough pre-district and had to deal with lots of injuries,” said Senior Quarterback Jeremiah Tucker.
Junior Matthew Tucker, Wide Receiver/Cornerback tore tendons in his thumb and broke it, at the same time Junior Jose Rodriquez, Outside Linebacker fractured his ankle, then Jeremiah hurt his back, taking out three starting players.
After that, Seniors Tyler Osborne, wide receiver and Linebacker Angel Garza-Nava also saw injuries, taking out five starters. Two back-ups: Juniors Dimitri Merrit and Josh Fontenot sat out a few games due to injury, only to have three more players suffer injuries later in the season.
“Injuries have impacted the team in negative ways,” said Interim Coach Chad Pegues. “They have derailed us a little bit. We have depth but a lot of the players are young and that creates a learning curve too.”
Jeremiah explained the strengths and weaknesses of the team.
“Our strength is scoring quickly, we have weapons all over the field and have more than one playmaker, while one of our team weaknesses is, that we lack a running game.”
Tough roads for the lions this year did not dismay the team.
“Some dealt with it very well and others had a harder time because it [losing our head coach heading into playoffs was harder than a death,” said Matthew.
Interim Head Coach Chad Pegues and his team, as well as alumn encouraged the team to keep moving forward in the face of adversity.
“Everyone dealt with it pretty well; not really much that can be done,” said Nava. “They have kept us engaged at practice, and kept us believing. We have to keep moving forward,”
Not only did we suffer injury and loss, we also faced giants.
Three of the five pre-district games were bigger schools and outnumbered us.
The Shelton game was one of the biggest games of the year. It was played at the Cowboys practice facility in Frisco, The Star, and it was the TAPPS game of the week.
Our homecoming game was October 6th against Dallas Covenant and it was the team’s first win, the final score; 38-7.
District play started with Coram Deo on October 13th we lost 42-0 after that we beat Fellowship 49-0 and Pantego 58-35, but lost to Colleyville Covenant and Fort Worth Temple.
The Lions still made it to the playoffs, Lubbock Christian hosted the first round. It was a long, five hour drive because many thought of facing the huge team on the other end.
The team stayed resilient, despite their head coach being replaced days earlier.
Coach Pegues did a first-rate job taking over and helped the team not to miss a beat, insisting on keeping the “Come Ups” and prayer traditions that make our lions inwardly strong.
2018 Varsity Lions have big shoes to fill after this years’ team growth through all the tough times.