SAN AUGUSTINE, Texas (KTRE) - For many East Texas students, the month of August brings with it the end of summer break and the dread of returning to school. However, for many student-athletes, August also brings with it the beginning of high school football practice.
San Augustine Wolves didn’t waste any time, hitting the practice field at 7 a.m. Monday.
“We are excited and ready to go," Head Coach Marty Murr said. "I knew the coaches and kids wouldn’t sleep much on Sunday with Monday being the first day. We hit it early. The kids got here at 6:20 this morning.”
“It feels good man, I’ve been waiting on it. I really couldn’t sleep last night. I probably got like three hours of sleep,” said senior running back TiJay Davis. “It’s exciting. I’m back out here with my boys and I know they’re pumped up, too.”
“These guys stay up all the time, they’re always working; working hard, I mean, I love that," said teammate Jayden Hicks, senior quarterback. “I’m excited.”
The fight for a playoff berth is especially competitive in Class 2A Region III, which includes the Carlisle Indians, Garrison Bulldogs, and Tenaha Tigers. The Wolves defeated the Tigers in the regional playoff in 2018.
“I think it’s more than them, I think Centerville is another team that has a chance to win, I think Alto is going to be better this year; Joaquin made some noise in the district last year,” said Murr. “I think there’s 6 or 7 teams that legitimately have a shot.”
The Wolves enter the 2019-20 season after a disappointing finish to the previous season. The Wolves ended their playoff dreams in the state semi-final round for a second year in a row, most recently to the Mason Punchers.
“You know, the two [losses] we took the last two years in the fifth round, it’s on our minds,” Davis said. “We got the same team, so I don’t think nobody is going to stop us.”
The key for an Augustine is all the starters from last year on offense are returning plus they add Hicks at quarterback. A lifelong resident of San Augustine, Hicks had been attending Center High School but made the decision to finish his high school years at home. The team also returns almost every starter on defense.
“We have got 17 or 18 returners," Murr said. "It sets up for a good year. Our line will be the strength again this year. Our skill position kids will be a year older. If we get better each day I think we got a chance to be pretty good.”
When asked what the team’s goal was this year, Hicks had an answer in two words: state championship.
The first week of high school football season kicks off Aug. 30. San Augustine will host Big Sandy.