By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
August 22, 2020
Hico’s youth experiment is underway, and Coach Randy Thornton Tigers fared well in their first test in scrimmage action against Granger’s Lions.
“You don’t necessarily win or lose a scrimmage,” Thornton said. “We are just excited after sitting at home for five or six months, and we got to play some real football. I thought our kids got after it and mixed it up and played well.”
There were a few problems early on with the Tigers’ defensive alignment, but that was understandable with Thornton’s plan to evaluate his entire team. Thornton’s staff ran athletes on the field like a track meet with no plans to carry a junior varsity this season.
This season offers a unique experience for Thornton because if he comes up with an idea for a play or wants to make adjustments to the way his offense is run, he can talk to his freshman quarterback at practice or over the breakfast table.
That freshman also has the area’s best “football name,” and Hut Thornton did well against a massive rush as the Tigers’ offensive line provided him the time to sling the ball downfield. The quarterback showed some athletic talent, a desire to win, and like any freshman under pressure, made an error. Hut’s scale was balanced with an ill-thrown pass for an interception and a great read and lead for a touchdown pass.
“One of the neat things is that I have missed a lot of things over the years with him growing up so to get that time back now is neat, but once we step between the white lines, it’s not dad and son its coach and player,” Thornton said. That’s the way we treat it. Now when I go home tonight, we will be dad and son for a little bit, so that’s a neat experience. It’s unique for Hut and me, and we are going to try and enjoy it.”
There are also some growing pains for the Tigers.
“We had some mistakes that will have to go back and fix,” Thornton said. “We have some things we have to shore up, and we are looking at a lot of different people. We ran a lot of personnel in and out of there, and we certainly some things I would like to see us improve on defensively.”
While the players on defense may have had some miscues, Thornton also liked what he saw on the field.
“We rallied to the football as a team,” Thornton said. “We recovered and did a nice job.”
Now it’s all about getting to the chalkboard and discussing the Tiger’s first opponent Texas Wing in Waco Friday, August 28.
“We start school this week, so we are excited about getting into a routine,” Thornton said. “This has all been so strange. Getting into a routine will be nice for everyone.”
The 2020 Tiger team includes Hut Thornton, Tucker Booth, Angel Gonzales, Christopher Jimenez, Reese Polk, Caden Moncrief, Jesse Chandler, Carson Keller, Martin Cerda, Justin Gueisner, Jaydon Qualls, Cooper Roach, Preston Roach, Justin Dickson, Luke Griffin, David Villilapando, Cole Barr, Erick Zendejas, Brenden McKinney, Reegan Brister, Javier Zuniga, Ty Crawford, Brendon Taylor, Adrian Ruiz, Michel Guinn, Andrew Harvin, Kellin Aardal, Daniel Williamson, Jayden Crouch, Isaac Nava, Chander Wood.