TIGERS READY TO POUNCE: Straughn prepares for tough region contest

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Straughn Tigers (0-3) look to get things going this Friday hit the road to take on Class 3A, Region 2 foe Wicksburg.

The Wicksburg Panthers (3-0) enter the game as the No.10 team in Class 3A.

“This is probably the best team in our region,” Straughn head coach John Higgins said. “We have to come ready to play, and we have to get excited about playing. We need to be physical and play to our ability. If we do that, we will be fine.”

Avoiding miscues will be something the Tigers need to focus on this week, Higgins said.

“They are a good team and we can’t afford to make silly mistakes,” Higgins said. “Last week we had nine penalties and two turnover.”

Higgins said he would like to see his team finish drives and not hurt themselves.

“We’ve been doing better, but we just have to be more consistent,” Higgins said. “Like last week, we would move the ball down the field, but then we would get two or three penalties that backed us up. The adversities we have faced are the ones we’ve created.”

While the season hasn’t started the way they would have hoped, Higgins said his players still manage to keep a positive outlook.

“Our goal is to improve each and every day,” Higgins said. “It would be easy for these guys to get down on each other or fuss after starting off with three losses, but not these kids. They have come in every day with great attitudes and have been ready to go to work. Their attitude has been great.”

Higgins said that his Tigers have to bring their “A” game when they take on Wicksburg.

“This is a very talented Wicksburg team,” Higgins said. “They are talented on offense and on defense. If you look at their games so far they are pretty much winning 40-0 every week. We are going to have to play our best game of the season if we are going to have a chance.”

Wicksburg started the season with a 41-9 win over Geneva County, picked up a 49-14 win in week two over Daleville and knocked off Opp last week 41-0. The Panthers have three players with more than 250 yards rushing and one player with 189 yards.

As for Straughn, Higgins said the start of the season hasn’t been what they envisioned, but he likes the way his guys are working.

“Practice has been very good and spirited this week,” Higgins said. “We’ve been very physical all week, and we are just still trying to find our best 11 to put on the field. Our goal is just to get better no matter what. Our young guys are working hard and our seniors have been providing leadership, but right now our youthfulness is showing. That’s part of the game and that’s part of life. We just have to keep working. I’m proud of these kids and I’m proud of the support that this community continues to show our team.”