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.”
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.
GC Basketball; Kerens' Ames signs with Cloud (Kan.) Community College
There's nothing quite like signing day, and Taylor Ames was all smiles and beaming about her future Wednesday when she signed a letter-of-intent, accepting a basketball scholarship to Cloud County Community College in Kansas in front of family, friends and coaches at Kerens, where Ames leaves a legacy like no other.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs get ranked, split with Paris
Minutes after Navarro split a doubleheader with Paris on Wednesday, Navarro softball Coach Jessica Karenke was told her Bulldogs had just been nationally ranked and are now No. 16 in the NJCAA national softball poll.
She had no idea.
And she didn't care.
Karenke is worried about what happens on the diamond, and she had some concerns after Navarro made four errors in the second game that opened the door for Paris to pull off a 7-2 win after the Bulldogs and Ciara Luna controlled the first game with a 4-1 win.
GC: Mildred's O'Sullivan and Bland chosen to play in FCA All-Star games
Mildred’s Devin O’Sullivan and Callie Bland have been selected to play in the FCA’s All-Star games on June 1.
CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win
Lindale has been poison to Corsicana all year.
The Eagles won a bizarre game in Lindale to keep the Tigers out of the football playoffs and ruined the boys basketball season with two gut-wrenching wins in the final week of the season.
They did it again Tuesday, beating the Tigers 4-0 at Price Field to take over second place in the District 16-4A race.
Lindale (6-2) had one big inning to hand Corsicana (5-3) its second loss in a row.
GC Volleyball: Kerens' Kelly signs with Paris Junior College
She prayed about it. She lost sleep about it. And she prayed about it some more.
That's just a glimpse of what Marqueshia Kelly went through before deciding to turn down a half dozen basketball scholarships and accept a scholarship to play volleyball at Paris Junior College.
The journey might have been a little sleepless, but in the end it wasn't that tough for Kelly, who is a multi-sport star at Kerens.
“I followed my heart,'' she said on Tuesday just moments after signing a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Paris in front of family, coaches and friends.
CHS Tennis: Tigers play well in powerhouse region
Corsicana's tennis team finished its season with a strong showing in the Class 4A Regional Tournament at UT-Arlington before falling to some powerhouse players from Dallas.
GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Blooming Grove edges Mildred 1-0 (Adds Dawson-Hubbard baseball)
Blooming Grove kept its baseball playoff hopes alive, winning a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in Mildred Tuesday night. Dalton Blake struck out 11 and scattered five hits in a well-pitched game that took an hour and a half to complete.
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