Aug 29, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorA strong summer in the offseason has given Lander Valley High School Tigers head football coach Doug Hughes a reason to believe good things will happen this year on the field.
The Tigers took 20 players in the offseason to the Black Hills State University football camp.
"We have a team that is anxious to step on the football field and compete," Hughes said.
In 2012, the Tigers advanced to the Class 3-A playoffs but lost in the opening round.
"We have experience returning in the skill positions, but we will only have one returning starting lineman," Hughes said.
The Tigers have a total of 58 players out for high school football.
Only 17 rate juniors or seniors.
"We are looking at a young team," Hughes said.
"We will have to condition hard for several two-way players."
Hughes would have like to have a few more upperclassmen.
"The numbers in the freshman and sophomore classes are good," Hughes said.
LVHS started the second week of practice on Monday.
"The players are working extremely hard to learn the offense," Hughes said.
"With a lack of size, we will have to be a more balanced team and try to use the pass to open up the running game."
Size is the biggest question mark for the Tigers.
"We do not have a lot of size in our team this year," Hughes said. "With very few players even coming close to the 200-pound area, we will have to use our speed to our advantage."
LVHS is in the Class 3-A East conference this year.
Buffalo, Douglas, Rawlins, Riverton and Torrington make up the rest of the league.
Cody, Green River, Jackson, Powell, Star Valley and Worland are in the Class 3-A West conference.
"We will return the same coaching staff this year," Hughes said.
Mike Ragan is the defensive coordinator.
Steve Simpson works with the running backs and the defensive backs. John Rounds is the offensive line and linebacker coach. Nick Fulton and Dean Schaff are the LVHS freshman coaches.
Week zero change
The Tigers were to play Kemmerer in the week-zero preseason game on Saturday, but Hughes said Kemmerer has cancelled the scrimmage with the Tigers due to a lack of numbers.
LVHS will play Shoshoni on Saturday morning at Wolverine Field
"We need to see who will step up their effort and compete in a game situation," Hughes said.
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