The Jacksboro Tigers only lost one district game last year. Eventually going on to face Blooming Grove in the bi district round of the playoffs coming out with a 28-13 win.
Suddenly they found themselves where just about no one expected them to be. The area championship. Playing against a tough Clarksville team. Their season came to an end in that game, but the Tigers say now that was just the beginning. The beginning of a new tradition. Of a new attitude. A fresh start.
The Tigers take that loss into this season. Saying that feeling has stayed with them. But that what it really does is let them know they don't want to feel that way again. Here are the Jacksboro tigers. In their own words.
Head Coach Brian Hodnett:" Now you responded how i wanted you to. But did I have a reason to kind of go off? We were kind of walking around like somebody owes us something. Last year was last year. You don't think people are gunning for us? You don't think people are talking about playing us right now this mornign at their practice? They can't wait to get a piece of us. So we don't have time for a bad rep or a bad series or a bad practice. When you start winning the days of having bad practices are long gone. It's a mentality. You can tell from my voice I've screamed all i can scream It's on you to get yourself ready to go. When we practice at a high level, we build and build and build and we get better every day. If you're not getting better what's happening? You're getting worse. You don't stay the same. Today is a chance to get better. Now we're at the halfway point of practice. We're fixing to go to defense. That should be the best segment of defense we've had all year. It's all about how you respond. Do things like that happen in a ball game? You make mistakes early and things happen where you can't function where you want to. And you have a choice. You can either let it get the best of you or you can shut it down. And things used to happen like that didn't they. Well those days are over. You respond and you find a way to go to work and that's what you guys did. You finished the drill and that's what i wanted. We gotta find a way to get better every day. It will not be easy. We've won nothing this year and everyone is gunning for us. So by god we have to be at our best every step understand? Break it out go into water. Here we go get those whites (helmets) up.""Tiger ball on 3. 1.2.3. TIGER BALL"
Hodnett Cont...:"Expectations are really high and we want to get back to the playoffs. We feel like there's some unfinished business. We didn't play as well as we should have that second round game. But like i said with a lot of seniors coming back those guys know what it takes to get there and what it feels like to get there so they're really working hard to get to that point but at the same time it's a big challenge just like I talked about with the kids. You gotta dig deep and we don't have time for bad segments in practice and bad days. Everything's gotta be positive and moving forward."
Kirk Weldon:"It was pretty heartbreaking to go home. We were really hoping to go a little farther. And a lot of my friends were seniors last year and to see how heartbroken they were playing their last game. I'm not really looking forward to ending my season that quick. So it's a big motivation."
Hodnett:"We talk about Clarksville a lot and we remember that game. We left some opportunities on the field and we felt like we could have played better. But no one really expected us to be there, just us. And That's the theme that we've taken on this year. It's just us again. And last year not many people talked about playoffs but us. It's a different approach this year because now that's the expectation. Anything short of that isn't going to be good enough."
Cooper Tisdale:"Most of us are out here doing summer workouts and we're working really hard. You gotta have that to get any program started. Going from two years ago being 2-and-8. And sprinting back up to 9-and-3 i mean that requires work and pretty much every single one of us is in the weight room every single day."
Garrett Johnson:"When you lose a game you get that feeling. And you just have to hold on to that feeling. You just don't want to lose."
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