The Leonard Tigers hope that 13 returning starters will push the team into the playoffs again.
Shane Fletcher, the tenth-year head coach at Leonard, hopes to improve on a 7-3 finish last year that earned the Tigers a playoff spot.
Injuries plagued the Tigers last year, costing them players such as versaitile senior Justin Bennett. Though listed as a defensive back on the Tigers' roster, Bennett split time at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and free safety before missing the last 3 games. In seven games, he scored three touchdowns passing, three touchdowns rushing, made 34 tackles and broke up five passes.
Other key returners for Fletcher include running backs Solomon Titus and Dylan Monck. Titus, although small (5-6, 140), is an explosive, physical runner that has great balance and vision. Last season Titus ran for 768 yards on just 52 attempts. Nine of those attempts were for touchdowns, and he averaged 14 yards per carry.
If the Tigers can stay healthy this year, Leonard could have a much deeper playoff run. They're picked to finish second in District 7-2A Division II, behind Gunter. Leonard's schedule features tough matchups at Gunter on October 25, at Tom Bean on November 1, and against Sadler S & S Consolidated on November 8.
Head Coach: Shane Fletcher 2012 Results: 7-3 bi-district finalist, 4-1 in District 7-2A Division II Top Players: RB Solomon Titus, Sr., 5-6, 140; Rushing 52-768 yards, 9 TD, 14 YPC. DB Justin Bennett, Sr., 6-3, 190; Passing 4-11-3, 3 TD, 94 yards; Rushing 19-165, 3 TD; 34 tackles, 5 PBU.