Golden Tigers set to tackle Brooks in Thursday jamboree
Russellville head football coach Michael Jackson is excited about what he’s seen from his Golden Tiger team so far during pre-season camp.
But Thursday night, he will get a much better feel for what kind of team he has.
Russellville will host Brooks in a jamboree at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Lions are coming off an 11-2 season in which they made it to the third round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“Brooks had a really good team last year and will be good this year, so it should be a competitive situation and that’s what you want to get you ready for Deshler the next week,” Jackson said, referring to the week one showdown with the traditional power Deshler.
The game will be a regular four-quarter contest, but Jackson said the starters would only play for the first half.
“We will play the younger guys and JV in the second half,” he said.
Jackson said the pre-season jamboree will give him an opportunity to look at his team in game-like situations and the focus will be more on what his team does, rather than game planning for Brooks.
“We will worry about us and what we do,” he said.
“It’s a great opportunity to get in some live action. The guys are tired of practicing against each other every day and are ready to get out there against someone else.”
Despite the loss of several talented seniors from last season’s 9-3 squad, Jackson believes the pieces are in place for another solid season.
“We are really excited about our defensive football team,” he said. “We think we have a chance to be a special group on that side of the ball.”
The Golden Tigers’ stingy defense from a year ago could be just as good this year. Jackson said one of the strengths of the team would be along the defensive and offensive lines.
But he also expects the offense to be improved in certain areas due to the emergence of some playmakers. Jackson has named junior Zack Garrison as the starting quarterback and said the offense is a little ahead of where they have been.
“Our passing game is farther along,” he said. “We are very excited about all of our skill guys. Reed Smith has stepped in and Deyon Hill will be our starting tailback. We expect good things from him.”
Jackson said Trey Williams has emerged as a big play threat from the slot position.
“He’s one of the fastest guys on the team.”
Austin Bohannon, a 6’3” tight end with good hands will also present matchup problems for most defenses, Jackson said.
“We know we have to be more multiple on offense and get more people involved and we think we have some guys who can really help us,” he said.
“We are excited about this team and we will know a little more about ourselves after Thursday night.
Russellville will open the regular season at Deshler on Aug. 30.