The day has come for the first regular season football game to be played at Tiger Stadium.
The Smith-Cotton Tigers and Republic Tigers will officially open the new facility for football.
“We’re hoping to fill the place up and it’s been a long time coming,” said assistant principal Joseph Doyle.
Senior receiver Blake Jackson said he’s hoping to see the stands full for the first game.
“I hope it’s packed,” he said. “All the students, that’s all we need. Full stadium, first game at the new stadium will be great.”
While the players are excited to play in the new stadium, head coach Ryan Boyer doesn’t want all the hype to keep the team from focusing on the game.
“It’s great to be excited for the new stadium, big crowd, things of that nature, but at the same time don’t get too excited, don’t get too high and focus on our goals and what we’re out here to do,” he said.
Senior lineman Gage Stewart has gotten the message.
“Just get focused early, eat right and stay hydrated really,” he said.
Smith-Cotton opened last season with a 22-7 loss at Republic and Boyer said lack of focus early in the game cost them.
“This is a game that we’ve talked about all offseason,” he said. “I know I’ve said it probably 100 times, but we look forward to the next opponent and the next opponent all offseason has been Republic so that’s what they’ve been gearing up for.”
Stewart said he’s looking to get some revenge after the loss to Republic last season.
“We want to smash them,” he said.
Senior quarterback Caleb Reed said he’s just glad football is back and is hoping to get in-sync with the receivers.
“We’re really just working on our timing with our routes and going through my progressions and reading the corners and reading the linebackers,” he said.
Jackson will be one of the receivers Reed will be looking to connect with and he said he’s focused starting the season 1-0.
“I’d really like to beat them pretty good,” he said. “I was kind of mad they beat us last year, honestly.
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.