The Holliday Eagles aren't strangers to making the post season. The Eagles have the 9th most playoff appearances in class 2A history at 36. Of course if the eagles manage to make it back to the playoffs this year it will be the first time with their new head coach Frank Johnson. The question is with a new defensive philosophy and a new starting quarterback, can Holliday put the playoff puzzle together in time.
First year head coach Frank Johnson knows about the tradition at Holliday high school. Coach Johnson originally from Iowa Park. His last coaching stop a solid run at Colorado City. Johnson saying after 30 years away, it's great to be back in North Texas, "it's kind of got my fire going again. A new challenge, new kids, new coaching staff. My comfort zone is gone so i'm excited to get back to work coaching."
Johnson inherits a Holliday team coming off a 6-and-5 season but with plenty of weapons back on both sides of the ball. New under center this year is quarterback Matthew Tigert. Who after getting some late game experience last year, says he's looking forward to taking the reigns full time this season, "it's really exciting. It's a new role for me and i'm really looking forward to it. I've been waiting for it my whole entire life. We have a great team this year. We've got a lot of juniors coming back. We've also got almost our full offensive line coming back this year so that will be good."
A big target this year for Tigert will be wide receiver Andrew Edgin. Coming off a junior season where he was named offensive newcomer of the year, Edgin is a threat on both sides the ball. He says he's excited about working in coach Johnson's new spread heavy offense, "i like it because it's fast paced. We have a lot of fast receivers. We also have a fast running back and a fast quarterback. Everything fits together well." Coach Johnson says Edgin is a big asset on offense, "Andrew is just one of those kids that was blessed with a lot of speed. Any time he gets the ball he has a chance to take it to the house. I think we also have other kids capable of big plays and of course andrew is a big play threat."
Of course the biggest change for the eagles will be on the defensive side of the ball. But according to junior Tristan Sherman, the Eagles are open to the change, "this year we're reading keys. Reading the offensive line last year was more a matter of pick a gap and blow it up."
With the eagles running a 4-2-5 this year, coach Johnson is looking for the defense to pick up his style of cerebral football that should help guard against the big play, somthing that will help the eagles in a tough district. But there's no doubt that the goals stay the same for the Eagles under coach Johnson's leadership. "December football is a lot of fun. You have to take it one game at a time and you can't get to December without winning the first one but i think every year it's gotta be win playoff games and see how far you can go." And for quarterback Matthew Tigert, it's all about getting better, "like i said we're looking for a district title and that's all we're looking for. Hopefully to go further in the playoffs than we did last year. We got a great team, we have great guys coming back. We're looking to have a great season."