Tigerhawk football endured some trying times last season. The Colfax-Mingo football team got out to a nice 2-1 start to the season, but six straight losses to finish the year brought the team down from its early-season highs.
New head coach Jeff Lietz hopes his speed on defense, combined with a revised scheme, leads to some more victories for the Tigerhawks
“I’m really excited coming into my first year as a head coach. I’ve been an assistant coach here for a while, and I’m familiar with how everything runs,” Lietz said. “On offense, we’re still going to run a spread, but I’m changing up the defense to a 3-5 scheme. We have great speed on defense, particularly in our linebackers and defensive backs.”
One big coup for this team is that its leading tackler from last season, Jake Lietz, returns for his sophomore season. As a freshman, Lietz racked up 125 total tackles, topping all other Raiders including senior Dylan Albright, who had 119.
“Jake was the leading tackler in the (Heart of Iowa) conference last season as a freshman. So, we’ve got him back, and he should be big for us this year,” Lietz said.
The Tigerhawks return 11 seniors for this season, but much of the team’s returning offense from last season is still heavily reliant upon underclassmen, specifically sophomores Jared Myers and Blake Summy.
Myers took over as the starting quarterback at the beginning of his freshman season, but a broken collar bone sidelined him the remainder of the year. As expected, the freshman Myers experienced some struggles throwing the football with eight interceptions to two touchdowns, but he went through the growing pains that all young football players must endure. Although he did struggle at times, Myers also posted a completion percentage above 50 percent to go along with 453 yards passing on 68 pass attempts.
Summy was one of just four Tigerhawks to catch a touchdown pass last season, and at six receptions, he is the leading receiver returning from the 2012 squad.
“Jared was playing really well last year until he got hurt,” Lietz said. “It’s nice to see him back and working hard.
“Blake is our leading receiver coming back from last season. Having him back will be big for us too.”
Those position battles will shake themselves out by the Tigerhawks’ first game, which is Aug. 30 at Saydel High School.
“I just love their attitude,” Lietz said of his players. “It’s going to be a new attitude and a new level of intensity. The kids have a great work ethic.