Hal Wasson’s Corsicana Tigers held their first summer workout Monday at Tiger Stadium, where it was hot and muggy and time to get started.
How far these Tigers will go will be answered in the next four months, but Wasson has won everywhere he has coached and plans on winning in Corsicana.
The Tigers opened practice a week later than the other Golden Circle teams because they held spring practice.
They open their season Aug 29 (16 days from now) against Burleson Centennial, the team that beat Corsicana in the second round of the 5A playoffs last year.
Wasson has plenty of holes to fill, including his entire backfield, which graduated and took more than 90 percent of the 2018 offense with them.
QB Blake Hoffman, who ran for 1,531 yards and threw for 1,284 last year, and running backs Da’Jioun Nathan, who rushed for 1,233 yards, including a 312-yard night in a 53-31 win over Lake Dallas in the playoffs, and running back Canon Moore, wo ran for more than 700 yards, all graduated.
Sophomore Soloman James is expected to take over at quarterback and Eric Dickson, who was an All-District linebacker, moves into the top tailback spot.
The Tigers return some of their top players such as Tyler Farmer, who was a monster on defense the past two seasons and the Golden Circle Defensive Player of the Year as a junior last season, and Drew Denbow, who has been a lethal receiver the past two seasons. Denbow can play just about anywhere and can be used as a quarterback, a Wildcat QB, slot back, running back and receiver.
Lane Fuentes, a quick-as-lightning receiver with good hands who was the district’s Special Teams Player of the Year for his ability to break out big plays on kickoffs and punts, returns as well.
Dickson returns at linebacker and Jacob Lopez, who was an All-District defensive lineman, also returns along with defensive lineman Brayshun Parish, who was named the Golden Circle’s Tri-Newcomer of the Year last season as a sophomore, to help lead a Tigers defense that was the best in the district a year ago.
The Tigers went 7-1 and won the District 8-5A title and finished 9-3 for the season.
They will play Waco Midway in a scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 22 to tune up for their season opener against Centennial on the road.
They play their first home game at Tiger Stadium against Saginaw Boswell in the final non-district game and open district play in Week 3 in Greenville on Sept. 13 before playing their first district game at home against Kaufman on Sept. 20.
The biggest game on the calendar should be the same as the last several seasons — the Tigers’ finale at home on Nov. 1 against rival Ennis.
Monday marked a new start for a new era at Corsicana with a legendary coach who came back to Navarro County after winning just about everything a high school football coach can win.
There has been a electricity and excitement around Wasson since the day he was announced Corsicana’s new coach, and he’s rolled up his sleeves and worked since the day he arrived.
Monday was another benchmark day — Day 1 of the 2019 season.
It sure got here in a hurry.