EUFAULA, Ala. (WTVM) - The Eufaula Tigers are just one year removed from a second round playoff appearance.
Coach Ed Rigby said the players were happy to be back on the field after a lot of time off.
“They keep showing up because they love the game, love this school, love this town, love this community, so I’m excited to be out here,” Rigby said. “I’m excited for them.”
A trip back to the postseason won't come easy. They're in a tough region that includes Opelika, R.E. Lee, Park Crossing and more. Their non-region schedule could be even tougher, as they have a date with Central in Week Two. Rigby isn't backing down, using a Ric Flair quote to inspire his team.
“If you’re going to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man,” said Rigby. “Our kids aren’t backing down from nobody.”
The Tigers have new starters on the offensive and defensive line, something that Rigby believes will be key to their success this year.
"In football, it's about the O and D Line. Everything else is flash. I feel good where we're at. We've seen a lot of improvement in the last two weeks. First week we were in a helmet, last week we put on some shoulder pads, so we've seen a lot of improvement especially in the offensive line."
One key returning starter is quarterback Hess Horne. Last year's AHSAA Class 6A passing leader is back to try and take the Tigers to a deep run in the playoffs.
“It’s bigger than the Beatles,” Rigby said. “He’s a three-year starter. The Beatles were huge. Hess has the It Factor that you can’t coach and he’s a leader to the guys on and off the field. Trust me, you sleep a lot better at night when you know you’ve got a trigger puller.”
The Tigers are scheduled to open the season on Friday, August 21 in Ozark with a road game versus the Carroll Eagles.