by Larry Ham
The Reedley College Tigers opened the 2012 football season Saturday night with a 20-14 loss to the COS Giants at Mineral King Bowl in Visalia.
The fact that the Tigers played their traditional league rival in week one illustrates what a season of change it is for Reedley College. The Tigers’ 4-16 record over the past two seasons caused them to be reassigned to a tier two league – The Golden Gate Conference. What that means is that the Tigers will face allegedly easier competition, and they will not be eligible to play for the state championship.
None of that mattered to Coach Randy Whited and the rest of the Tigers Saturday night. Most of the players weren’t even around last season, and the coaching staff will certainly not dwell on the lack of results from the recent past. In fact, there were some very positive things to take away from Saturday night’s loss to COS.
For one thing, the Tigers have gone back to the spread offense they featured several years ago, and they look like they have the athletes this season to make it work. Freshman Quarterback Ian Hall (Clovis West High), didn’t have spectacular numbers Saturday, but he showed an ability to find open receivers, and to scramble for positive yardage if need be. The coaches apparently feel the same way. Offensive Coordinator Scott Stark’s very first play call of the season was a quarterback run. Wide receivers Bryant Brown and Devin Cox caught several passes thrown their way, and receiver Will Hanford caught a fourteen-yard TD pass from Hall in the fourth quarter to get the Tigers within six points. Brown scored Reedley’s first touchdown of the season on a 41-yard punt return in the second quarter.
Yes it was a loss – the eighth straight for the Tigers dating back to last year – but there is an air of optimism that could be felt all the way back down Road 80 to Reedley. This Tiger squad has an opportunity to win some games this season, and they have the talent to do it as well.
The Tigers’ next game is their home opener this Saturday night at seven at Reedley High School, as they host another former Valley Conference rival, The San Joaquin Delta Mustangs.
Check back every Monday evening during football season for the latest game recap and watch for some RC football interviews!
To hear this weekend’s webcast go the the Reedley College website and scroll down for Tiger Football on the web.