Tigers aim to bounce back with bye week

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

An early bye week has given the Greenville Tigers an early opportunity to reflect not only on their own shortcomings, but also the trying weeks ahead as region play begins.

Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon said that the extra week of practice was spent equally on Greenville High School and Charles Henderson High School.

“We’ve had an extra week to watch some film and work on some things that we felt were glaring issues, and not necessarily focusing on the other team just yet,” McLendon said.  “It was more just focusing on us, and tightening some loose ends and making sure that we understood what we were doing by getting back to the fundamentals by doing those types of things.”

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The Tigers’ Week-1 loss to Beauregard was equal parts mental fatigue and inexperience, both deficiencies that can be addressed with an extra week.

“I don’t think we played very good on offense in the second half,” McLendon said. “The defense was out there a lot, and we just didn’t execute.  We didn’t tackle very well at times.  But like I said, it was a learning experience.  There were a lot of young guys out there who had their first time starting.  I thought the effort was there, but we got behind and got down a little bit; we’ve just got to understand that we’ve got to keep playing and fighting no matter what the score is.”

This week, however, Charles Henderson has 100 percent of the Tigers’ focus. Though not much has changed from Trojans teams of years past, that’s all the more excuse to be prepared.

“They’re like they always are—good, athletic players on both sides of the ball,” McLendon said. “We feel good about it, but we just want to go out there and play hard, more than anything, and have some energy to really get after it.  We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Charles Henderson hasn’t won a regular season game, but it’s not for a lack of effort.  Their season opener ended in a narrow one-point loss to UMS-Wright, and the second was to the former Class 6A Carroll Eagles, a strong regional contender.  According to McClendon, neither of those games is an indictment of the Trojan’s potential threat level.

“Without a doubt, we expect a tough fight,” McLendon said. “It’s a rivalry game, and they’ll be looking to get into the win column, and so will we.  It’s a tough place to play over there at the university stadium, and they always play well there.  We’re looking forward to getting back out there and seeing if we’ve improved any.

“It’s just a different place to play, it’s big, it’s got the turf and it’s different.  But we can’t let that affect us—we’ve just got to go play football.”

The Tigers and Trojans will contend for the first region win in Troy Friday night beginning at 7 p.m.