Second-year Head Coach David Ryan is looking for a better season than last year for the Pigeon Forge Tigers Football team.
“We ask our kids to do things with intensity,” said Ryan. “They tried, and they keep the program going.”
This year, Coach Ryan feels the team will be better prepared mentally for the teams that they lost to last year. The team lost six games by fewer than seven points and lost three games by only one point, against teams that are historically much stronger than the smaller Pigeon Forge program.
“We have a good group returning.” Added Coach Ryan. “We have thirteen seniors and twelve juniors coming back, plus we’ll have a good pool of sophomores and we’re looking forward to the new freshmen coming in also.”
The team started their summer training June 7, with conditioning in the morning from 6:30 to 8 a.m., keeping the team in prime condition for the upcoming season. The team will use that conditioning all summer and move into drills and practice, as the school year gets closer.
Winning is something that Coach Ryan is used to, and the 2-and-9 season from last year played hard on him.
His desire to help the kids get back into the winning column is evident in his speech. “Last year was hard,” said the coach, “but we have a good program, and I’m looking forward to this season.
To make last season even harder, the Tigers lost a young member of their team just before the last game to a tragic accident.
When the coach went to the team and asked if they wanted to play, they all stuck together and played for their lost friend, losing the game, but winning the respect of the other team and coaches.
Regardless of the win/loss column, this helped the Tigers put the season behind them as winners.

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