Wills Point Tigers: 2013 football preview
With the district newcomer of the year, the defensive MVP of the district and the top three offensive stats leaders in the district returning for 2013, Wills Point is confident it can improve upon a 5-6 finish last season.
Head coach Kevin Garvin has 12 starters returning from a team that was much better than their record shows. Quarterback Chase Pemberton (2,667 passing yards, 25 TD) was very efficient last season, completing 55 percent of his passes and throwing only nine interceptions. Wide receiver Tre Smith (61 catches for 1,093 yards and seven touchdowns) and utility man Jah Golden (53 catches for 938 yards and eight touchdowns) should help Pemberton improve his completion percentage, and could take this offense to 3,000 yards passing.
On the ground, both Pemberton (419 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns) and running back Dominique Granville (140 rushes for 738 yards and 13 touchdowns) are very good runners. Granville is a bruiser of a back, measuring in at 6-0 and 210 lbs.
The cupboard isn’t exactly bare on defense either. Defensive back Anfernee Harris (86 tackles, one sack, one interception, one fumble recovery) was the district’s newcomer of the year, and defensive MVP linebacker James Wright (129 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, three sacks) isn’t exactly a pushover.
Turnovers were the bane of the Tigers last season. In a loss against Crandall, Pemberton threw four of his nine interceptions for the season. When Will Point lost to Princeton, twice the Panthers managed to strip the ball and eventually turn them into points. If the Tigers can hold onto the ball consistently, this team could run away with District 14-3A.
Non-district scheduling is a little tough this year, as they travel to two of their three toughest opponents. They start the season off with a difficult game at Pittsburg (who defeated them 46-15 in 2012). Mabank (1-9, 0-5 in District 15-3A) and Ferris (5-5 bi-district finalist, 2-1 in District 11-3A) come to Wills Point, and then it’s consecutive away games at Brownsboro (5-5, 2-3 in District 15-3A) and at Canton (8-3 bi-district finalist, 4-1 in District 15-3A) before ending their non-district play with the team that beat them 51-6 in 2012, Princeton (10-2 regional semi-finalist, 3-1 in District 12-3A).
District play is a little easier, as Quinlan Ford is replacing 19 seniors this season, Crandall is breaking in a somewhat new quarterback, Kaufman lost to Wills Point last season and Emory Rains didn’t win a game in 2012. With four slots open in the playoffs, the Tigers should be able to make it in.
Head Coach: Kevin Garvin 2012 Results: 5-6 bi-district finalist, 3-1 in District 14-3A Top Players: QB Chase Pemberton, Sr., 6-3, 190; Passing 147-263-9, 2,667 yards, 25 TD; Rushing 79-419 yards, 5 TD. WR Tre Smith, Sr., 6-0, 178; Receiving 61-1,093 yards, 7 TD; Rushing 12-108 yards, 1 TD. RB Dominique Granville, Sr., 6-0, 210; Rushing 140-738 yards, 13 TD. DB Anfernee Harris, Sr., 6-0, 160; 86 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery. LB James Wright, Sr., 5-7, 163; 129 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 3 sacks.