Carver Tigers open preseason football practice

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Wednesday morning may have marked the first time the Carver Tigers took to the field for pre-season practice, but for Dell McGee's crew, working at getting it right on the field is only the latest phase. They've been getting their minds right since the first of the year.

"Our mental preparation started in January," said McGee, the Tigers' head coach. "With our weight training which lead up to spring football as well as our summer conditioning so from a mental stand point our kids are right on track."

McGee and the players are ready and rearing to go for the tough season to get underway.

"Oh, I'm excited, I think we have a great opportunity of this season," senior linebacker Gerald Williams, said. "I'm an upcoming senior so I am hoping to get a ring on my finger."

Wide receiver Marqui Hawkins echoed his sentiments.

"I'm very excited," said the senior, who has verbally committed to Florida. "We have a lot of young guys in, so should win the state championship. We have a new region schedule, so we are going to see how they play."

The confidence comes for a reason. The Tigers have won six straight region titles, made it to the state semifinals five of those years, including their state title run 2007. Just the same, they know they have a lot of work to do to keep the success going.

"Everyone just has to stay focused," said Offensive lineman John Thomas. "We just have to listen to our coaches. We have great coaches. And we've got to come together and bond with each other."

It all begins for the Tigers with their traditional opener against Spencer on Friday, August 31st.