The Smith-Cotton football team is ready to get going.
With the season opener at Republic scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Tigers are set to open their first season under head coach Ryan Boyer.
After a summer full of camps and two and a half weeks of practice, Boyer said the team is ready to play for real.
“I think there’s good nervous energy,” he said. “What we like to see is there is that sense of urgency. After going to the jamboree, we were able to see there were some good things and there were some things that we needed to get cleaned up.”
Republic went 3-6 last year, winning the first two games before a five game losing streak, capped off by a 22-21 loss to Willard. Republic lost to Nixa in week nine 28-7. Nixa opened the 2013 season with a 41-0 win over Smith-Cotton.
Republic’s offense scored 40 points in each of the first two games of the 2013 season, beating Springfield Central and Marshfield.
“They’re going to be a very physical team, a very well-coached team,” Boyer said. “Offensively they like to get downhill, they pull guards, pull tackles. They want to control the clock and pound the ball.”
With a rushing attack Republic will send at Smith-Cotton, Boyer said the key for the S-C front seven on defense is to pay attention to their reads.
“When we coach them up, there are certain things that they need to pay attention to,” he said. “We tell them, just do what you’re coached to do, we’re trying to put you in the best position.”
Republic’s defense shutout Springfield Central week one last year but then allowed an average of 36 points per game the rest of the season.
“Defensively, they’re disciplined,” Boyer said. “They do a good job of keeping everything in front, a bend-don’t-break mentality.”