Green Forest gets look at younger players

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Several players were absent from the Green Forest Tigers’ spring football drills, which wrapped up Friday, May 21, but coach Greg Tibbitt isn’t complaining one bit.

“We had seven or eight guys still involved with soccer,” Tibbitt said, alluding to the Tigers’ run through the Class 3A state soccer tournament that culminated with their second state championship in eight years. “And we kind of started right at the end of baseball. We’ve got shooting sports going on and awards, assemblies and just everything else. So it was kind of kind of chaotic.”

Tibbitt said the soccer players, especially, weren’t expected to participate in spring drills even if they had been able to find the time.

“I didn’t want to take a chance with them with an ankle or something stupid out of practice when they were competing for a state title,” he said. “So they didn’t even join us at all.”

With numbers lower than normal, the Tigers were able to work on some individual skills and also get more practice reps for some younger players.

“I got a chance to see some of our younger guys, kind of mixed in some of those ninth-graders,” Tibbitt said. “Spring ball is always kind of hard at a small school. You never really have the numbers you want. We did a lot of individual stuff and tried to work on some individual type things.”

Green Forest went 1-10 last season in Tibbitt’s first year as head coach of the Tigers. The Tigers beat Berryville 18-12 in the annual Carroll County Super Bowl, then opted into the Class 4A state playoffs and lost to Bald Knob, 28-22. It was Green Forest’s first playoff appearance since 2014.

Two Green Forest players — senior tackle and defensive end Dalton Randolph and senior defensive end Jazmony Lopez competed in tryouts in Kansas City earlier this month and were selected to try out this summer in Canton, Ohio, for spots on the USA Football national team.

Beginning Tuesday, June 1, Green Forest will work out three days a week until the summer “dead period” begins June 23. The Tigers will participate in a team camp Monday, June 7, in Van Buren.

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