Tigers have high hopes
Tiger football is coming off a four-win season last year with good reasons to elevate their expectations for the 2012 campaign. For the first time fourth-year Head Coach Johnny Young has his entire coaching staff returning, and 22 seniors are scattered up and down the CSHS roster.
“They are a strong group,” Young said, “but we have to have some of them step up and show real leadership on the field. Vocal leadership is one thing, and we have plenty of that. We’re looking for players who will lead on the field.
“Devonta Cunningham at middle linebacker, Adarius Benson at free safety, Demonterius Kendrick at cornerback (Currently out with a hamstring injury), and Jamario Benson are all going to have to show the kind of senior leadership we need if we are going to be the best team we can be.
“Other seniors we’re expecting great things from are Gabriel Brown, DyQuavis Graham, Joshua Windom, and Ladarius Smith.
Deandre Womack is expected to start at quarterback with Standricus Wilson getting meaningful playing time early. The multi-talented Jamario Benson can also play the position and give the Tigers a different offensive look.
Young cites his defense as the team’s strongpoint, especially early in the season while the offense is getting battle hardened. The kicking game should be strong as well with sophomore Warner Paiz handling all the kicking and punting duties.
Juniors expected to play a big role on the squad are Jeremy Archie, Devin Clark, Nick Guerdan, Wallace Funchess, and Zack Moore. Sophomores Dionysrus Hines and Calvin Moore are also capable of making major contributions.
The Tigers play in one of the toughest 3A districts in the state. Hazlehurst is picked as the frontrunner again followed closely by Wilkinson County and Franklin County. Jefferson County and Prentiss are the other two teams in the district.
“My goal is to have a winning season and go to the playoffs,” Young said. “I’m really humbled by our situation. We really are going to take one game at a time, and while we do have our goals, right now we’re only looking at Wesson.
“Their football ‘IQ’ is great. They really teach the fundamentals, and they are definitely going to be fundamentally sound. To win, we cannot turn the ball over, and we have to make them work hard to score. Coach Greer will have them ready to play.”
Wesson is not only the season opener for the Tigers but the home opener as well with a 7:30 kickoff.
“We need support from our parents and everyone else who cares about CSHS and our football program,” Young added. “We’re hoping for a great crowd this Friday night. Our fans need to show these young men that they are behind them.
“Our players had a great spring and have worked hard all summer running and in the weight room. They deserve all the positive support we can give them. They neither need nor deserve negative criticism from anyone but their coaches.
Young also encourages anyone who wants to help support the Tigers in a tangible way to join the CSHS Athletic Booster Club. He will gladly provide booster club information with a phone call to him at 601-892-9070.