By Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun
It's an ambitious schedule, one that promises to push Corsicana's Tigers, who find themselves playing DeSoto, Dallas Carter and Waxahachie in 7-on-7 football this summer.
On Tuesday, the Tigers hosted the other three teams in a round robin set of three 30-minute games, and had trouble with DeSoto, one of the best Class 6A programs in Texas, and Dallas Carter, a powerhouse in 5A, before battling in a tough 2-1 loss to 5A rival Waxahachie.
DeSoto won 5-1 and Carter beat the Tigers 5-2 at Tiger Stadium, where Corsicana Coach Steve Hoffman liked some of the things he saw but was upset with the way his kids competed.
“We have to learn to compete a little better. We've got to get guys onboard who will compete and not make excuses,'' he said. “We've got to learn to go hard on every play, every single play.''
Hoffman, who is in his second year at Corsicana, said this year's 7-on-7 team was ahead of last year at this point, but that he expects a lot more.
“We're a little further along than we were last year, but we have a lot of young guys,'' he said. “We have to learn to play hard on every snap.''
The Tigers had their moments. Xavier Brit made some fine plays on defense and Corsicana's safeties — Jamaal Evans, a rising senior who had not played football until this spring, and rising sophomore Trevor Dembo both had strong days and gave up almost nothing on defense.
“Brit did a great job,'' Hoffman said. “He didn't get to play last year. He broke his ankle in two-a-days and didn't play at all. He has probably been the biggest surprise so far.''
Hoffman raved about his safeties.
“I like our two safeties,'' he said. “Jamaal and Trevor both have really played well. Jamaal has really been a surprise, playing football for the first time, and Trevor is just a freshman who will be a sophomore. They are going to help us this year.''
Ty Sheffield had a big day on both sides of the ball and Hoffman said the coaching staff is looking for big things from him. Ralph Watts made several good catches and scored the only touchdown against DeSoto.
“I think Ralph has the best hands on the team,'' said Hoffman, who doesn't mind playing a powerhouse like DeSoto, which won all three games in the round robin easily. “This is how you get better, by playing against teams like DeSoto. We have to get better. We need to get stronger this summer and get better.''
Corsicana rising sophomore Kishawn Kelly takes over at quarterback, and the feeling is the 7-on-7 games can only help him grow in the position. He threw four touchdown passes against some talented secondaries.
Watts caught a 12-yarder against DeSoto. Danair Martin, who will be counted on this year, caught a 15-yard TD against Dallas Carter and a 10-yard TD against Waxahachie. Lathan Carter caught a 14-yard TD pass against Dallas Carter and also had an interception against Waxahachie.
Corsicana will compete in the state qualifying tournament Saturday morning(games are at 9:00 a.m. And 11:00 a.m.) against opponents that have yet to be determined.