Tidehaven looks to bounce back this Friday against Van Vleck

 

This week in Tidehaven, the rivalry between the Tigers and the Van Vleck Leopards will be renewed at 7:30 p.m. with both teams looking to get back into the win column after losses to East Bernard.

For Tidehaven Head Football Coach David Lucio, the Tigers’ loss to East Bernard just lit a fire under his Tigers knowing what needs to be done for the remainder of the district campaign.

“The East Bernard game did nothing but make us hungrier,” Lucio said. “Our kids are fired up for the rest of the season. At this point of the season, many teams know their season is halfway over. Our kids look at it like we have barely started.”

Lucio realizes his team needs to work on some aspects of the game in order to get through the rest of district and earn a playoff berth.

“We just have to square away a few things and one of those things is that we have to get better at tackling,” Lucio said. “We have to learn to keep our poise on offense. We had a couple of drives where we did everything we were supposed to do but on other drives we made a few mistakes that cost us.”

Van Vleck Head Football Coach Robert Blackmon took the bye week after the Leopards loss to East Bernard to recharge batteries on the team.

 “Normally I would say that a bye week after a loss is a bad thing because you want to get back out there and win,” Blackmon said. “But with everything we have had to deal with this year, it has been a stressful two months for us. We just want to give the kids and coaching staff time to regroup and get away from football and then come back and get ready to get after it again. We still have five games left to take care of business.”

Blackmon took the bye week to not only recharge the team’s batteries but work on the team itself before worrying about Tidehaven.

“We are going back to the fundamentals and look back at our games and our mistakes and try to find out why we made those mistakes,” Blackmon said. “As coaches, we have to look in the mirror ourselves and see if we are asking these kids to do too much. We know we have a young group maybe we are putting too much on their plate. Sometimes when you play ball, you just want to play and not think about it. We will go back and look and see if we are asking our kids to do something they can’t do.

“We are not looking ahead at all right now,” Blackmon said. “We have to take care of us. We need to look at us right now. We just want to work on getting us better.”

Lucio knows Van Vleck is young on the field this year but he also realizes that this rivalry makes players work harder to get that victory for their respectful school.

“They are extremely young and they graduated a very good senior class last year,” Lucio said. “But they are still pretty good. They have some players in their secondary that are very talented. The one thing about playing Van Vleck is that we know we are going to get their best. They play us a lot like Palacios does so we know they are going to come in fired up and play above and beyond what they normally do. We have to match their intensity and be ready for them.

“If we execute and block like we are able to clock then we will be okay,” Lucio said. “On defense, we have to do a good job of tackling and if we can do both of those things, I like our chances.”

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