2012 Football Preview from Republic Tiger Sports
The Republic Tigers will feature lots of new players on both offense and defense as they look to improve on last year’s four-win season. Republic head coach Kurt Thompson says the lineup is “wide open” as fall practice begins.
“We’re trying to find our mix that allows us to be the best football team we can be, offensively and defensively,” Thompson says. “We’ll try to get as many players involved as we can.
“That’s going to be an experiment for us. We’ll start the year off, and hopefully we’ll keep improving in that, and fine tune that, so toward the end of the year we’re playing our best football.”
The Tigers graduated quarterback Nick Williams, but their new QB will not be completely without experience. James Desjardins stepped in last season for nearly half the season last year, when Williams went down with an injury. He’ll lead the offense as the 2012 season begins.
Kerik Crouse will start at one running back spot, after spending last season as a backup to Jake Laswell. TK Brigance will also share the carries in the backfield with others.
Up front, Gus Carter and Levi Cook will anchor the offensive line as the only returning starters.
The graduation of three inside linebackers means a new face for the defense, as well.
“That’s a concern for us,” says Thompson. “If we started the season today, we’d be playing a lot of young guys on defense. And we’ll do that.”
The new season also brings a new playoff format for Missouri high school football. The regular season is now only nine weeks long, instead of ten, and every team will be seeded for the initial playoff round in Week 10. From there, the season is a single-elimination tournament to determine the state champion.
“We have a challenging schedule, and essentially what they’ve done with football is just make it like every other sport,” Thompson says. “We will face some of those teams throughout the regular season, and hopefully Week 10, our schedule’s been beneficial for us and very well prepared us for that chance.”
The Tigers will be on the field for their preseason jamboree at Camdenton this Friday night. They open the regular season on August 24th at home against Springfield Central.