Greetings, Lion fans, and it’s that time of year that all of us that are football fans just despise…..the dog days of summer, close enough to the start of the season that the notable preseason publications (including the Bible of Football in Texas, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football)have made their appearance on local newsstands, and many of the preseason Media Days for just about every conference have come and gone, yet Opening Day is still over a month away.
So, what is a diehard fan to do? For Brian and I here at The Wire, we’ve gotten intrigued by indoor football and following the Frisco Fighters, whom we’ve spoken of before. Clint Dolezel and Bobby Bounds are working their magic in the Metroplex, and more people are noticing, The crowd in Comerica Center was of good size, vocal, and supportive. and the Fighters pulled off another win, putting themselves in a great position for the playoffs.
We had a chance to visit with Lion kicker Jake Viquez during the post game actvities, and what we learned heightened anticipation for the upcoming season. Some highlights:
Off Season Work-“We have more players than ever in town, and putting in the work. Right now, there’s over fifty players involved(basically, the balance of the Lion roster). In 2017, we had thirty two.” Daily workouts with Lion Strength and Conditioning coach Joey Caldwell are preparing the Lions for the long and tortuous road ahead. This, fans, are where championships are won.
On the large number of players returning after no season in 2020: “There’s a lot of us that just love the game. For me, I have the rest of my life to work and earn a living. The window to play football is so small. We knew we were good in 2020, but weren’t sure just how good. We want to see just how good we are.”
On what the offense will look like: “Most likely more run heavy. We have six very good running backs. If we can stay healthy, we’re going to be very dangerous.”
The defensive outlook: (When I mentioned that, at the end of the 2019 season, the Blue Gang was arguably the best D2 defensive unit in the country). “We’re going to be very, very good, If we have some interior defensive linemen come through like we think, then can be even better.”
On whether he’ll handle both kicking and punting this season: “We have a very good redshirt freshman, Mitchell McGarry, who’s doing really well. I mean, if I’m asked by the coaches, I could do both, but I would rather kick.”
The bottom line is this: The Lions are deep, talented, and are going above and beyond to put in the work necessary in order to achieve their dreams. Those dreams involve a single goal: NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
Listen to the words of Jake Viquez: ” We were very good in 2019, despite being as beat up as we were. We didn’t have a chance to try in 2020. We’ve got something to prove this year.”