TUCKER – The new season is coming as Tucker High School entered media day Thursday afternoon a year after their semi-final loss to Coffee.
2017 was a good year for the Tucker Tigers who finished 12-2 but it’s also a year that may sit at the back of their minds and the minds of their fans for some time. The Tigers cruised through the first two rounds of the Georgia High School Association state playoffs with 55-7 and 28-7 victories in their respective rounds.
However, things changed in the third when Allatoona was within 8 points of the Tigers. In the penultimate round that would have granted the Tigers a chance to play in the Mercedes-Benz stadium – Coffee County limited Tucker to just a field goal as they snatched the 14-3 victory.
Fast forward to now and the Tigers enter 2018 with a few key offensive players and defensive players still in place. However, the sting for the Tigers this year is the senior class also featured a large amount of talent and 17 seniors signed to the next level.
“We had a good year last year but we fell short of our goals and lost in the semi-finals,” Tucker head coach Bryan Lamar said. “We lost a very big senior class that had a lot of two to three-year starters.”
Travon Ford (1,616 passing, 18 TD) is back at quarterback for the Tigers this year marking his third year as a starter as well as Blake Jefferson who is also in his third year starting for the team at center.
Key departures on the offensive side of the ball are Taurean Taylor (1,236 rush, 15 TD) and senior receiver Josh Vann (867 reception yards, 12 TD) leaving two crucial roles to fill ahead of the season.
12 seniors who made impacts on the defense are now gone as well for the Tigers, whether it was 10+ tackles or knocking quarterbacks down in the backfield for sacks, Tucker has some work to do defensively with new players.
Rising senior Derrick Mclendon (21 tkls, 3.0 tkfl) is a piece to build around for the Tigers this year on defense as Lamar says that the team is in a serious rebuild mode.
“We’re not as experienced,” Lamar said. “We have a lot of inexperienced guys who have worked hard this offseason.”
There is a good expectation around Tucker that the team will do well but with the rebuild vibe and a number of questions surrounding the team, time will tell how the program shakes out and if they’ll recapture the thunder of 2017.