Truth be told as a fan and columnist I didn’t see 49-21 Red Oak coming. I thought it would be a close game with the Tigers recording their first win of 2013.
But as one of my favorite song lyrics state by my favorite singer of all time, “You can still lose even if you really try.”
This past summer as the relentless heat beat the pavement and turf at Tiger Stadium, tight end and defensive lineman Tiano McDonald wrapped up his two-a-days. And then went to a local establishment and began his job maintaining the landscape. McDonald is a great kid who really tries. He made a great, potentially game-changing play when he sacked Red Oak quarterback Logan Thompson. His effort paid off on that play, but his team still lost.
Tiger quarterback Devontay Bell has worked and worked really hard to rehabilitate his knee that failed him in the third game of the 2012 season. Bell works hard in practice, is a positive leader and a versatile athlete who can play just about any position for a football team. Yes, I think if you asked the kid to block, he would march his 175-pound frame out there and get after it.
Bell had a great run on the Tiger’s opening series that should have set them up for their first lead of the season. The Tigers tried and then the Tigers fumbled. Red Oak scored and never looked back.
The Tiger offense had two rushers go over 100 yards (Bell 134 yards and running back Tray Owens 125 yards). Give kudos to an offensive line with just one starter returning from 2012. The kids work hard. They’ve heard about former offensive linemen Louis Vasquez, Chris Edling, Roclan Drain and Billy Yates. They want to get better.
New head coach Steve Hoffman didn’t pack up his family and move 400-plus miles north to be 0-2. Talk to him for three minutes and you will understand that. I promise. Look at what days and how long the Tiger Fieldhouse parking lot is filled with the park cars of coaches and you will know the effort going in to get these kids ready for a Friday night and ready for life.
Somewhere some team two years ago gave it their best shot and went 3-7. Some team worked just as hard as the 2011 Tigers did but didn’t end the regular season 9-1 and the whole season 13-2.
Are the Tigers a 3-7 team? I don’t think so. Are they a 9-1 team? Simple arithmetic of being 0-2 after two will tell you no. Have they lost the first two even though the collective effort was there from the head coach down to the film crew? Yes sir and yes ma’am.
“You can still lose even if you really try.” Life and somewhat of a microcosm of life, football teaches you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and pray for success. Success isn’t necessarily guaranteed if you try and work hard, but it sure gives you a much better shot. The Tigers get their next shot in three days at Forney.
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