ETBU Completes 2nd Practice in Full Pads - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

ETBU Completes 2nd Practice in Full Pads

MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) -

The East Texas Baptist Tigers are entering their second season under head coach Josh Eargle, who is now settling into his sweet spot with the team.

Last year the Tigers finished (1-5) in the American Southwest Conference, (3-7) overall.

"I've had my first full year of recruiting," Eargle said. "All these guys are mine now, and they've really bought in."

The Tigers are young on defense but have a lot of returning starters on the offensive side of the ball. Their offensive line returns four from last season.

"I think at this point our offensive line may be one of our biggest strengths offensively," Eargle said.

Offensive lineman Michael Garcia earned preseason All-ASC recognition.

"It's a huge boost to my confidence to receive preseason all-conference, but I feel like our offensive line as a whole is one of the most underrated in the conference," he said.

Junior defensive end David Jaynes is one of the team's defensive leaders and said the young guys are out there working hard.

"I definitely feel like the guys look up to me as one of the leaders and I respect everybody on this football team," Jaynes said. "To get respect, you got to give respect."

Many of the players talked about how their unity is much stronger heading into the 2014 season than it was heading into 2013. They said there is more trust and comfort with  Eargle.

"I don't want to say we didn't trust Coach Eargle, but he was new so all the players were learning as we went," said Tyler Bates, a two-time all- conference player as a wide receiver and kick returner.

Eargle says the Tigers' three goals are:

  •  To be men of character
  •  100 percent graduation rate
  •  Win ASC Championships

The Tigers begin their quest for an American Southwest Conference Title on Sept. 4 against Texas A&M Commerce.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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