When the 2017 Sealy Tigers take the field for the first time this season, they will be sporting a familiar look with a new touch.
Replacing the traditional logo of the Texas state outline with a tiger’s eye will be the return of the “Tigers” logo that was worn during Sealy’s successful 1990s decade.
It’s part of first-year head coach Shane Mobley’s plan to bring Sealy back to winning ways a year after going 3-7.
“Our slogan is ‘Bring it back,’ and the first step to doing that is bringing the community back,” Mobley said. “[The logo] brings back good memories to the men and women of Sealy High School who grew up here.”
The community has responded to Mobley’s call with approximately 140 players participating in August practices across all levels. Mobley said he expects the varsity roster to have roughly 40 players on it.
If someone wants to wear the new logo across his matte black helmet for the varsity team, however, Mobley said every single one will have to earn it.
“Everybody is getting a legit opportunity so we’ll get our varsity settled after the first scrimmage or so,” Mobley said. “I would say anywhere from 10 to 15 kids can be brought up so we’re preaching, ‘How are you going to get the black matte? What are you going to do?’”
The right to earn it is simple. Actually doing it is not.
Mobley’s fast-play style will be utilized through on the offense through the spread system while the defense will be using several different formations but be based out of a 4-3, cover two formation.
Learning a new scheme is not an easy task for a team that is returning more than 20 players that are used to another system. Mobley said it is a challenge the players have risen to quickly.
“A lot of kids are going to go home and this time of year, they’re going to put down the video games and turn on the film,” Mobley said. “If they start asking questions then you know their mind is into it.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Mobley said he wants to focus on tackling, one of the core fundamentals of the game. While it may seem like a simple task, Mobley said it is one that if done properly can make all the difference.
“You have to teach a kid how to tackle because 99 percent of the time, they aren’t going to have a head-on tackle,” Mobley said. “It doesn’t matter if you can play defense, line up or can call what they’re going to do, if you can’t tackle then it doesn’t matter.”
As for the offense, Mobley said while the starters aren’t finalized anywhere on the roster both the offensive line and the receiving corps are standing out.
He said this is particularly valuable because the team can effectively utilize the pass attack due to their ability to put multiple talented receivers on the field. This will allow running lanes to open up and an offensive line that can ensure they stay that way.
“We have to adjust to the players we have,” Mobley said. “Any of the four or five [receivers] can get the ball, it’s a gamble but it could also be very explosive.”
The team’s tackling ability and physicality among other things will become more clear as they begin contact practices. Mobley said it is when the pads go on when the players who deserve a spot on the varsity roster will earn the matte helmet.
“We’re not going to go out and go head banging, we don’t want to lose anyone to practice injuries,” Mobley said. “But we do go out to see how the kids carry themselves in 20 to 30 more pounds of weight to your body and see how you move.”
The Tigers will play their first scrimmage at home against the Kinkaid School on Aug. 18 at 7:15 p.m. while their regular season starts on the road at Wharton Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
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