TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
After seeing the smaller schools start preseason practice last week, it was time for the 5A and 6A teams to hit the field for two-a-days. Tyler Lee is coming off a 4 and 6 campaign, but with head coach Darrell Piske now in his third year with the program, the Red Raiders say its time to make the postseason.
"It feels real good to get back out with the team and work real hard," running back Tavon Wesley said. "We are trying to have a great season, trying to make the playoffs.
Tyler Lee is only through one day of preseason practice, but the teams goal is very clear. Having not made the playoffs since 2010 and with their last winning season coming back in 2008, the Raiders say its time for all of that to change. "Our coaches handbook has it, says its time," Piske said. "So that's what we told the kids today, its time. It's the third year, its time to get in the playoffs.
Quarterback Zach Hall added, "It's a must, its not an option to get into the playoffs. We got to play in the playoffs, we have to practice on Thanksgiving.
A practice on 'Turkey Day' will depend on if quarterback Zach Hall can get Lee to that point. The junior signal caller racked up nearly 1,900 yards of offense last season with 17 touchdowns. And the Raiders have faith in their dual-threat quarterback to be even better in 2014.
"He can run, he can throw, he is like superman, he can do anything," Wesley said. Wide receiver Jordan Devers added, " He can run it or throw it. I mean they will be scared of him running it then he can throw it over the top of them, they dont even know it"
While Hall will play a big part, he has plenty of weapons including running back Tavon Wesley and wide receiver Jordan Devers. "I can throw a quick screen to Jordan and he can take it for 80 yards," Hall said. "I can run it, Tavon can run it. Mason Parker can go, its just a fun offense to be around.
The Raiders may need every point being the only East Texas team in the new 6A classification. But its a challenge the players are looking forward too. "We are out here working, just for that 6A because a lot of people dont think we can do it but this family right here believes, we know we can do it," Devers said.