This week is finally here. First a Happy Labor Day to everyone from us here at The Lion Wire. We hope you take the day to relax and enjoy the relaxation and get ready for a week full of Lion Athletics. So, let’s get to it.
The Lion Volleyball team starts their season this weekend as they compete in the Henderson State/Ouachita Baptist joint tournament in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. They face St. Edwards on Friday at 1 PM before taking on Co-host Henderson State that Friday Night, then face Ouachita Baptist Saturday at noon and cap off with the final game Saturday at 4 PM against Mississippi College. A great chance for Craig Case and his squad to start the season off strong.
The annual East Texas State Shootout Meet is in Commerce at Centennial Park this Saturday. It has Divisions From College all the way to an open community race. The Meet starts bright and early at 7:45 AM when the University Women take to the course for the race. After the colleges are done, the High Schools go for the standard 5,000 meter course on the Men’s side and a 3,200 meter run for the women. This meet is usually a big draw and being a former Cross Country runner in High School, I love those kind of meets, as it exposes high school runners to the college level. Also, with the early start it permits spectators and runners alike time to head home, rest, and get ready for the Football game.
Neal Piper’s Club kicks off their season Thursday night on the road against Westminster College in Utah. They are on the road again on September 9 as they face Northwestern Oklahoma State and return home Thursday night, September 12 for their home opener against Ouachita Baptist. The Lions are looking to get back to the upper tier of the Lone Star Conference after last season’s uncharacteristically average season.
Alright, here we go. 5 Thoughts on the game to start the David Bailiff era in Commerce, TX.
- Have to embrace the new norm. David Bailiff is going to be here and unless something catastrophic happens, at least a few years. He has been the head coach at Texas A&M-Commerce for almost 9 full months now. It is time to embrace the new reality.
- The opponent: Seleccion Nuevo Leon is not going to come up to Northeast Texas to take a beating. They are going to come up here and play as hard as they can and they are going to try to beat the Lions. There is no doubt in the film I have watched they are going to play hard and try to go after a shocking win. This team expects to win, because they do it in Mexico. Winning is a habit, and when you do it all the time, being a loser is harder to do. If last year taught us anything, it is we CANNOT take this team, or any team lightly. We need play with the same intensity this Saturday night as we should when Midwestern comes to town in a few weeks.
- With all the new faces and the mix of old faces, I am wanting to see how loose they play. I think there is a chip on the shoulder of some players who have heard the talk about the third place finish prediction and how this squad might not be as good as the previous years. That is a good thing, but you can’t be too tight and wound up. It seems contradictory to play hard and play loose but you can do both, and that is where the most winning happens.
- Every team has an identity. Some parts of those identities are good and some are bad. For Lion football over the past few years, part of our identity has been getting penalized very heavily and not finishing scoring drives with touchdowns instead of field goals. I really see those being purged. After the first scrimmage interview, David Bailiff used words like “unacceptable” to describe how some plays went. I like that because it shows he will not tolerate mistakes of the past. Read Russ’s experience here if you want to know what we are getting at. —https://thelionwire.com/2019/08/21/full-steam-ahead-david-bailiff-takes-control/
- Call me crazy, but I do believe we are flying under the radar this year. I will go ahead and say this, I believe we are a team that has the talent and skill to make a run at a National Championship. We have everything we need to do that from Coaches to players. The only questions are “Will the players get better every week and learn from mistakes and grow?” “Will the coaching staff bring out the strongest and best in every player?” and most importantly, “Will the fans give this team the support it deserves for all that has been accomplished in the past 6 years?”
We will find out in less than 7 days.