The Ardmore Tigers are ready for a fresh start with two talented freshmen in Noah Barnett (quarterback) and Saul Rodriguez (kicker). Both are expected to see action immediately.
The pressure is on these two to carry the load in Class 5A, Region 8 play.Offense and special teams goals are to protect these youngsters so they can make plays. This is essential for protecting the new 5-9, 160 pound quarterback.
Although the Tigers will feature youth on the field for the season opener, Legg trusts his veteran protection for the Tigers’ pro-style offense. Returning to the lineup are three senior offensive linemen and a senior fullback. Leading the team’s offensive line is senior left tackle Garrett Hogan (6-1, 290).
“Our goal is to protect him so he feels comfortable on the field,” Hogan said. “Off the field, I know the pressure of being a freshman and starting, so I know what they are going through.”
Can the Tigers improve on defense? Last year, Ardmore averaged scoring nearly 28 points a game but allowed an average of 40 points a game. Ardmore’s 4-3 defense has had trouble in the past, but this year Legg’s plan is to hide.
“Hiding the coverage of the defense is very important,” he said. “That’s one of the aspects of the game we lacked, but we plan on doing better.” The defense is returning five starters, and weight room work should help the defense, too, Legg said.
The biggest impact newcomer to the Tigers’ roster could be Rodriguez.
“It’s the first time since I’ve been here we’ve had a consistent kicker,” Legg said. “He relieves some of the pressure from the offense, because we can now kick field goals in tight possessions.”
- Senior left tackle Hogan benches 415 pounds and carries a 4.0 grade-point average. In his final year, he is excited to face rival Elkmont in the season opener Aug 28.
- The Tigers lead the Red Devils 42-27 in the overall series.