The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Sports

December 13, 2013

Surprising Leonard Tigers prepare for state semifinals

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

GREENVILLE —   Every high school football team expects to do well before the season starts.

  But the Leonard Tigers have exceeded expectations with their climb to the Class 2A Division II state semifinals. The 11-3 Tigers will play 14-0 Cisco at 4 p.m. Saturday at Chisholm Trail Stadium, which is in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD but is located on Northwest College Drive in Fort Worth.

  The winner of that game advances to the state finals against either Waskom or Refugio or at 8 p.m. Thursday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

  “You have dreams of being where we are each season,” said Leonard head coach Shane Fletcher. “But until it’s reality, then it hits you in the face. We’re just grateful being where we’re at.”

  After going 7-3-1 and reaching the bi-district playoffs in 2012, the Tigers were picked to finish second in District 7-2A. They finished third behind S&S Consolidated and Gunter.

  But the Tigers picked up steam once the playoffs started, being Edgewood 43-36 in overtime, Blooming Grove 35-21, S&S 55-44 and Cooper 28-20 on Saturday in Royse City. S&S and Cooper were both undefeated before losing to the Tigers.

  Fletcher said the Tigers continue to improve with each outing.

  “Their football IQ is just high,” he said. “Our kids are smart and we ask them to play several positions. They don’t let things bother them. They just keep on rolling. They just keep getting better the longer we play.”

  Fletcher said the Tigers’ playoff success “says a lot” about Leonard’s team chemistry.

  “We’re all like a family,” said standout lineman Dylan Pelton. “We’re all bonded together. We call each other family. I really stick by that.”

  “We have a great team chemistry,” said senior quarterback Justin Bennett. “We’ve always had it since two-a-days (preseason practices).”

  Bennett said the Tigers’ season has been “great.”

  “A good way to end a career, going out with a bang,” he said.

  Leonard’s standout running back Solomon Titus said this season’s been “like a dream.”

  “I knew we were good,” he said. “Everybody doubted us. We proved everybody wrong.”

  Titus has been a force in the playoffs, rushing for 175 yards against Edgewood, 255 versus Blooming Grove, 125 against S&S and 194 in the win over Cooper.

  “I improved my game because I know fully what I can really do,” he said.

Leonard’s facing a Cisco team that has outscored the opposition by an average margin of 50-12. Abernathy has played Cisco the closest, falling by 27 points (41-14) in the quarterfinals. Cisco won its other playoff games by margins of 54-10 over Stanton, 37-6 over Spearman and 42-14 on Monday over Canadian.

  “They are blue collar, tough West Texas kids,” said Fletcher. “They’re going to formation you to death just like we do.”

  Fletcher said the Loboes aren’t as fast as the Cooper Bulldogs.

  “Just solid football players and they’re well-coached. They’ve been to the state championship game four times since since 2000. Hadn’t won it but they were there.”

  Either Leonard or Cisco will realize one more dream by reaching next week’s state finals.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Greenville Lions' coaching staff lineup changes

      Each summer the Greenville Lions’ coaching staff goes through a transition phase as some coaches move on to other schools and new coaches are hired to take their place.
      This summer is no exception. There’s changes in the coaching staffs for the boys and girls programs that’ll involve the football, volleyball, boys soccer, powerlifting and softball teams.
     

    July 25, 2014

  • Oliver Hale three medals.jpg Hail to the winner of three medals at Transplant Games

      His nickname in Greenville is “Pee Wee,” but Oliver Hale is a big man on the tennis court and in the kitchen.
      Hale, who is a 1971 graduate of Greenville High School, won three medals at the 2014 Transplant Games of America recently in Houston while competing in the 60-and-over age category. He won a gold medal in men’s doubles, a silver in men’s singles and a bronze in mixed doubles along with playing partner Irena Bucci.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colby Carthel Free youth football camp planned

    Second year Texas A&M University – Commerce Head Coach Colby Carthel and his coaching staff will be the directors of a free A&M Commerce Youth Football Camp.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carver.jpg Officially for the record

    Two former Greenville schools are now officially recognized for their accomplishments in sports through new signage at the T. A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium.

    July 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • LeBron_James_18112009_1.jpg LeBron: I'm heading back to Cleveland

    Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0000066_official_dixie_softball_patch_300.jpg Commerce to host Dixie Softball tournament

    The city of Commerce has partnered with the Dixie Softball to host the Darlings and the Debs Softball State Tournament at the Eddie Moore Sports Complex again this year.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Campbell Lady Indians listen 1.jpg Coach Steve Guffey touched many lives

      Steve Guffey was a true sportsman in every sense of the word.
      Guffey, who died on Saturday at the age of 50, was a standout athlete and coach, who was also an avid golfer, angler and hunter. He was an educator. teacher, mentor and a friend to many who’ve been paying their tributes online and at candlelight vigils on Sunday in Ladonia and on Monday in Campbell.  Guffey’s memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Campbell High School gymnasium, where he coached the Lady Indians’ basketball team the past 12 years.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason Burton.JPG A&M-Commerce hires Burton as women’s basketball coach

    Lion women’s basketball experienced a homecoming of sorts on April when athletics director Ryan Ivey announced Jason Burton as the eighth women’s basketball coach in program history.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lone Oak, Caddo Mills softball players make all-state team

      Two players from Lone Oak and one from Caddo Mills earned second-team honors on the Texas Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A all-state softball team.

    July 1, 2014

  • Kevin Bowers chip 1.jpg Former Baylor golfers win Monster Ball golf tourney

       Baylor University was well-represented at the third annual Craig Bowers Memorial Monster Ball golf tournament this weekend in Greenville.
      Two teams composed of former Baylor golfers finished first and second after 36 holes at Wright Park Municipal and Oak Creek Country Club.

    June 24, 2014 8 Photos

House Ads
Featured Ads
Poll

Does Dallas head coach Jason Garrett need for the Cowboys to make the playoffs during the 2014 football season to keep his job?

Yes
No
Who knows with Jerry Jones as owner?
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Real Estate News