REPUBLIC, MO - After a 1 win season in 2010, the Republic Tigers bounced back with a 4 win campaign last season. Now the question is, can the Tigers make a similar improvement this year and become a playoff team?
HEAD COACH - Kurt Thompson, 6th season
2011 RECORD - 4-7
RETURNING STARTERS - 5 offense, 5 defense
PLAYERS TO WATCH -James Desjardins (Jr. QB)
The 4 wins the Republic Tigers had last season were the most for the program since Kurt Thompson's first year, when they won 8 games back in 2007. Last year's succes has fans excited, but the 6th year head coach knows there is still plenty of work to do. "It's a challenge for us each and every Friday night," said Thompson. "We know we have to play well. We have some young men working hard, trying to get something accomplished so we can be a good football team."
The Tigers will feature a junior quarterback in James Desjardins. Although only a sophomore last year, Desjardins played in multiple games because of injury and Thompson thinks that will help him hit the ground running this year. "He's been under fire on Friday nights, so that can't do anything but help him."
Desjardins should have some weapons around him. "At our skill positions we have some kids coming back. At receiver and in our secondary we feel good about our players."
But while they may be strong at the skill positions, Thompson has some concerns about the big fellas up front. "We're concernced about our offfensive line play. So's every coach in America right now."
While they would love to improve upon last year's win total, the goal at Republic isn't about the standings. It's about the level of play. "We set a goal for our kids that each day they walk off the football field being a better football player than they walked on."
Republic opens their season at home on August 24th against Central.