TYLER, Texas (KETK) — After a state quarterfinal appearance in 2018, John Tyler looked to make the most of the off-season.
The Lions qualified for the state 7-on-7 tournament and accepted invites to a national 7-on-7 tourney and the Cowboys Showcase in Frisco.
While they took some lumps at times, they also got to measure themselves against some of the best in Texas and the country.
“I think it really prepared us for the season, you know, we took some losses, we won some games,” said John Tyler cornerback and running back Kitan Crawford. “Also we learned from those mistakes, and we’re gonna capitalize on those mistakes, and we’re gonna, you know, do better in the season.”
“With the summer that we had, the productivity that we had, there’s nothing but greatness gonna come from that,” said head coach Ricklan Holmes.
Once again, J.T.’s roster has a wealth of talent and athletic ability, spear-headed by Texas commit Crawford.
But Cujo must replace four of its starting offensive linemen.
Fortunately, some of the likely new starters did see some playing time a year ago.
“A lot of smart guys, they know what they’re doing and they know how to grind for the game,” said J.T. offensive lineman Angel Sarmiento. “They like to play the game, and that’s just gonna make them really good. They might not be the biggest, but they know how to play.’
“The movement, chemistry, how they’re always joking around, you know, just playing for each other, just like brothers,” said Crawford.
Still a bit up in the air is the starting quarterback position.
Senior Isaiah Johnson is the number-one guy going into fall camp, but junior left-hander Cameron Ford was the starter throughout seven-on-seven.
“They both got strong arms, they are both very mobile, they are both very athletic,” said Holmes. “They both can lead this offense, but the thing about it is, can Cameron Ford be more consistent than Isaiah Johnson.”
The Lions open the season at home against Mesquite Horn on Friday, August 30th.