Tigers lack depth, but Bishop says skill level is up
By Scott Loftis
Quantity isn’t a strong suit for the Green Forest Tigers, but veteran coach Bobby Bishop says there is some quality on the Tigers’ roster.
“We may be as skilled as we’ve been since I’ve been at Green Forest,” said Bishop, who’s entering his fifth season as the Tigers’ head coach.
The down side is that the Tigers have just 25 players, and several of them are inexperienced.
“Some of these new kids haven’t played much football,” Bishop said. “So we’re still teaching some fundamentals. But we’re excited about the things we’re seeing out of our core group of athletes.”
One player that the Tigers are counting on is junior Reiley Gordon, a returning starter at quarterback and safety. Although Bishop hopes to develop some depth so that Gordon doesn’t have to play every down, he expects Gordon to be back under center for Green Forest.
“We’re working four quarterbacks to try and get some depth, but Reiley looks like he’s going to be our starting quarterback,” Bishop said. “We feel like he can be our trigger man.”
Roughly half of Green Forest’s roster will be made up of sophomores, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Tigers’ sophomore class had a stellar season in junior high football a year ago.
“We have some sophomores that are going to play a lot,” Bishop said.
Defensively, the Tigers will have to try to work around a lack of size and experience.
“We’re looking for ways to get our best 11 players on the field on defense,” Bishop said.
Sometimes, that may mean relying on a smaller defensive front in certain schemes — Bishop calls it Green Forest’s “Chihuahua defense.”
“We’ll have the little ankle-biters out there,” he said.
“Depth is a problem defensively,” he said. “Right now, depth and experience may be our biggest weakness.”