The best football teams can adjust to their personnel. For the Farmersville football team, that means changing after losing a senior leader.
The Farmer’s offense will look much different in 2022. Without starting running back Braejon Tidwell, who led the team in all-purpose yards and touchdowns last season, head coach Zac Quinlan said the team is working to find the pieces that can fit their scheme.
“A couple of guys were going to look at,” Quinlan said. “We have some younger players we think can make an impact, but we want to wait and see if they’re ready for that level. We’ll see who we can fit in, but I don’t know if they’re varsity ready yet.”
Tabbed to start at running back next season is Jonathan Shorters. A converted linebacker from last season, coach Quinlan said he brings great size and ability to the position.
“He’s got a great ability to change directions and get out in the open,” Quinlan said. “Running backs are natural, and I’ve heard college coaches say running back coaches are the best recruiters. They understand what they do and you have to have good vision. Jonathan has a lot of those qualities.”
He’s competing with Jacob Tull for the position. Tull was a starting linebacker for the team last season and will likely play that position more next season, but also help spell Shorters in the backfield when necessary.
“Ultimately, I think he’ll stay more as a defensive guy,” Quinlan said. “He’ll probably play more outside linebacker for us and give Jonathan some rest when needed, but it’s still a long way from the first game of the season. Jacob has some great top-end speed and ability that can help us be successful.”
Overall, the Farmers hope both guys can come in and help replicate the team’s success on the ground last season. However, the team is confident it can adjust the offense to help its personnel be successful.
“We hope to plug and play, but we’ll be dictated by what our personnel is able to do,” Quinlan said. “The beauty of our offense is that we can adjust based on who we have. Last season we were young on the line and young at quarterback but had a senior leader at running back. This season with more experience in other areas, we can adjust.”
The Farmers are also looking at several young players that can make an impact in 2022. Gerardo Reyes is someone the coaching staff sees potential in, but it’ll come down to the numbers for the team and if the coaches feel he’s ready to play varsity football. Overall, he expects the team to be able to find yards on the ground.
“Good football teams are able to run the football,” Quinlan said. “We feel confident about our passing game this season, but we still have to be able to establish our running game to be the best team we can be.”
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By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]