The Glen Rose Tigers started their first week of football workouts Monday, just as hundreds of other players did across the state, but the returning varsity players may have had a little added incentive to get started this year.
Head coach Cliff Watkins said that 75 student-athletes came out for football.
“Everybody is excited to be back on the field. There’s lots of energy,” Watkins said. “The players are really getting after it. In all the drills, they are really giving their best effort.”
His Tigers lost only one regular-season game in 2017, but it was their second loss that still lingers in their minds, according to Watkins.
Glen Rose, undefeated as the District 4-4A Division II champion for the second year in a row and riding a nine-game win streak, was upset in the first round of the playoffs by Vernon, 42-28. The Lions had won only four games in the regular season, and barely made the playoffs.
Watkins said the Tigers who are returning from last year’s varsity squad have somewhat of a “chip on their shoulder from the way things turned out last year,” but he believes that it will motivate them in the right way. “They are ready to get out and start a new phase.”
Glen Rose has seven offensive and five defensive starters back from that 9-2 team. There are 18 varsity lettermen returning in all.
The Tigers were named as the 20th-best Class 4A Division II team in the state in the preseason rankings published by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine. They are also picked to win the district title once again.
Watkins hopes the Tigers will be able to rise to a level where taking any opponent for granted simply won’t happen.
“We’ve just got to go out and continue to get better,” Watkins said. “We can’t take any game or practice for granted.”
The Tigers — again, along with the rest of the state’s players — added shoulder pads to their workouts on Wednesday. On Saturday they will be in full pads.
Saturday will also be the day for the GRHS intrasquad game. The junior varsity scrimmage will start at 9 a.m., Watkins said, followed by the varsity scrimmage at about 10.
The first scrimmage for the varsity Tigers will be Friday, Aug. 17, at Stephenville (6:30 p.m.). The second and final scrimmage will be at home Aug. 23 versus Graham (6:30 p.m.).
The regular-season opener for the Tigers will be Aug. 31 at home against Grandview. The kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.