Memories of Frost’s near comeback victory over Tenaha in the regional finals last year tend to focus on an offense that executed to near perfection in the second half, until the last play of the game.
The Polar Bears’ defense gets lost, even though Tenaha scored only one touchdown after halftime.
Frost’s defense will get noticed in 2013. The Polar Bears’ defense will be the team’s calling card with seven starters back, including leading tacklers Colton Clayton and Woody Woods, who both play linebacker.
“Honestly our defense is dominant this season,” Woods said. “We get around the ball. We swarm the ball.”
That’s what the Polar Bears did in that gallant effort against Tenaha, and seniors such as Woods, Clayton and Robert Worley plan on that carrying over. Frost trailed 20-0 in the first half of the game with Tenaha’s offense making big plays in the passing game.
But Frost stayed in the game mentally because the Polar Bears kept hitting on defense, led by Woods, who refused to back down. His teammates followed. Frost eventually took a 30-26 lead before Tenaha responded to take a 34-30 advantage. The Polar Bears’ season ended on the Tigers 2-yard line when Frost fumbled on the last play of the game.
Yes, the loss still hurts. But it taught the Bears a valuable lesson.
“We don’t every quit,” Woods said. “It’s going to make you better. Losing definitely makes you want to win. We have that game on our mind every day we go out to the practice field. It’s a heartbreaker.”
That’s where defense comes in. The Bears want to set the tone on defense,” creating chaos,” as Clayton put it. Both Clayton and Woods play on offense, but defense is their real love. Clayton led Frost with 88 tackles. Woods had 82.
They expect with experience to be improved on that side of the ball.
“We will definitely be better,” Clayton said. “The experience, swarming to the ball. It’s an extra push for us to be a championship defense.”
The Polar Bears’ goal is to hold opponents to 14 points or less per game.” If you can do that, you can control the ball game,” Woods said.
That’s what Frost did last year in district play. The Polar Bears lost to Hubbard 44-27 in district play — giving up 32 points in the second half — and played near perfect defense against the other three district opponents.
Dawson’s only touchdown came on a kick return. Wortham scored on its first drive and that was it. Meridian scored once, too.
Was Frost’s defense underrated last season?
“A lot of times it was,” Frost coach Eric Blenden said.”We gave up two touchdowns in district last season minus the Hubbard game. Scoring 49 points a game is great, but it does no good if you’re losing 51-49. And a lot of teams these days try to win that way.”
Blenden looks to Woods and Clayton to set the example on defense. They are his best tacklers, he said. That has come from hard work.
“We always work on tackling every practice,” Clayton said. “Woody and I work on setting the tempo.”
The Polar Bears do three or four tackling drills a practice, Woods said.
“We always want to secure the tackle first,” Woods said. ”Then we go for the ball and get nasty.”
Now that Danial Steels has taken his 1,800 rushing yards to college, and quarterback Jacob Stroder is gone, the Bears figure to take time getting into the flow on offense.
That’s where the defense comes in.
“Our offense isn’t as good,” Woods said. “It’s still good. But we have to come out in our first scrimmage and dominate games on defense.”
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball
The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks
GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
- More Sports Headlines
- Area schedule for the week