Starting practice at 5 o'clock in the morning, John Tyler is the first East Texas team to work everyday. "It messes up our sleep schedule, we have to get up at 3 or 4 o’clock depending on where we live and come out here and grind everyday," senior running back Jeremy Wilson said.
But after a first round exit from the playoffs last season, the early wake-up call is pushing the Lions to be mentally strong. "We just have to work on our mental aspect of the game," Wilson said. "We have to get ready for those Saturday games and go out there and compete." Senior quarterback Geo McCollister added,"We talk about the early exit everyday so we are going to do what we have to do to make sure it doesn't’t happen again."
McCollister has the keys to an offense that scored at least 40 points six times in 2013 and with all of his weapons back, the signal caller has a tough job to keep everyone happy. "Whoever is the hot man, we are going to give it to the hot man, but everybody else is capable of making big plays," McCollister said. "So everybody is going to get their shot in this offense" Senior wide receiver Nick Cain added,"All we have to do is play as a team. Ball together and we will put up more points, maybe 60 or 70 this year."
The Lions offense may put on a show but cornerback Issac Warren is in charge of a defense that gave up 30 or more points five times last year. He says don’t plan on that happening again. "I take leadership over the whole defense because I have been here longer and we are really getting the hang of it and everything and we are going to be strong this year," Warren said.
A strong offense and defense could lead Cujo to AT&T Stadium. "We just want to go out with a bang and make this year memorable and legendary," Wilson said.
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