August 18, 2017 - ANSON, Texas -- The Anson Tigers come into the 2017 season of their longest run in the playoffs in 90 years by advancing to the fourth round of the playoffs.
A lot of that team is back, so they have high hopes again this year.
The Anson Tigers have a new dynamic in 2017 that includes several players with lots of varsity experience and players with none. It's a tricky dynamic, but the seniors seem to like their new role.
Jason Saliz said, "It's pretty easy to come along with them because we're able to coach them up on the go, and it's easier to build chemistry with them because we've been in the system longer, and we we've known what's going on longer than they have."
Nick Tanner said, "It's fun to have new people out there, I mean the young kids are out here working hard just as hard as the people that have started for three years before them, so as long as they're working hard, it's fun to play with them."
Even with all the new faces, this Anson team is picked to win their district, and that's different than last year when they were picked last in the preseason rankings in their district. Now of course that was before their historic playoff run, so this year they got a target on their back.
Saliz said, "We feel like we have more to prove this year than we did last year. We have a huge target on our back this year, and teams are wanting to come after us more than they ever have before. You know we just made the longest run in school history."
Chris Hagler said, "As a coaching staff, we're just trying to do our best to emphasize to these guys that, look, this is a tough deal and that ole target on your back started out maybe a little smaller than what it is. It's a lot bigger now."
So what does that do for the players?
Salize said, "It definitely gives us a chip on our shoulder, so we just want to go out there and prove to the fans and to the people on the other teams that we are the best team."
And the coaching staff wants the guys to know that that bigger target is a testament to what they've done.
Hagler said, "You've done well, so you just got to build on that and make sure all those little things that we talk about are still in place day to day."
The Tigers return most of their defense and coach Hagler likes the offensive line, but with all the sophomore on the team coach Hagler wants to make sure to push them, but not press.