Tatum Eagles prepare for the upcoming season

This season’s Tatum Eagle varsity football team pose for a group photo during media day.

The year 2019 was the inaugural year for Tatum Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Jason Holman. His first season as Head Eagle produced a 3-7 season record. Many thought that the 2019 record was not indicative of the team’s talent, but was a function of many factors including the team’s youth and inexperience. Add to this mix a lack of familiarity with new coaches and their offenses and defenses and you had the perfect recipe for a really bad year.   

The 2020 Pandemic Season was a challenge for everybody. The Eagles responded with an 8-2 mark. After starting 2-0 with wins over Center and Daingerfield, the next two weeks of games and practices were canceled due to a Covid exposure. The season then picked up again with a road game to Gladewater to face the Bears. In many ways, it looked like starting the year over. The talented Gladewater team bested the Eagles 42-21. No excuses, no sour grapes. The Eagles then reeled off five wins in a row to complete the regular season. Tatum defeated Winnsboro in the playoffs 37-28 before ending the season falling to a very good Grandview team 49-23.  

Last year’s football slogan was “Row the Boat.” According to Holman, the motto meant three things. “The oar represented the energy level we needed to put forth every day. The Boat represented the sacrifices that had to be made and a Compass was the direction they were all trying to go. The Compass represented the goals that were set for each individual and the team.”

For 2021 the motto remains the same with a few additions. “The Goals we have set for this team are a bit more ambitious,” stated Holman. One includes having to practice the week of Thanksgiving. Do the math. “We have also added the element of 212. This is the temperature at which water boils. At 211, nothing happens. One degree more, one degree more effort, can produce an amazing result.” 

The Eagles added an assistant coach for the season. Zachary Rolf comes to Tatum from Mt. Pleasant and will be coaching football and baseball. 

The Eagle’s first taste of competition for 2021 was a scrimmage with Rusk. The defensive line and backers were effective against the Rusk running game. Tatum now shows 25 Seniors on the roster including the defensive group that has extensive game-time experience playing together. 

Looking to get playing time this season are senior QB’s Kendrick Malone and Jackson Richardson who have been splitting playing time in the preseason. Running Backs include seniors Jaylon Jones, Jeremiah Lawson, Quentin Harmon, Daymien Smith, and junior Jacoby Norris, 

A lot of receivers return. Seniors Kendall Williams, Ty Bridges, Jayden Boyd, Remington O’Bryan, Isaac Dancy-Vasquez, Drake Walton, Trey Fite, Taelyn Moore-Simon, Alvin Mims, Devin Hawkins, and Matthew Windom. Add in Juniors Cam’ron Redwine, Bobby Manns, III, Chance Fields. There is a lot of speed in this group. 

Offensive linemen include seniors Ty’Darius Webb, Nathaniel Clayton, Malachi Ward, Alan Flores, and Jeremiah Norris. Juniors C.J. Fite, Landry Ross, Jaylon Ferdowsijah, Jacoriean Rollins look to get playing time. 

On the Defensive side the Fites, C.J., and Trey, anchor the defensive front with Clayton and Ward. The other O linemen can see defensive time including Webb,  

Linebackers and Defensive backs include O’Bryan, Harmon, Moore-Simon, Bridges, Williams, Boyd, Dancy-Vasquez, Lawson, Walton, and Richardson, and Windom. The juniors include Norris, Redwine, Kade Holder, Nick Calhoun, Truman Davis,  

The kickers and punters are all seniors. They include Jose Ventura, Alan Chavez, and Junior Christian Cadena. 

Following scrimmages with Rusk and Harmony, the Eagles travel to Center (8/27) to take on the Roughnecks to open the 2021 Campaign. The home opener is Sept. 3 when the Eagles host the Daingerfield Tigers. On Sept. 10, Tatum travels to Pittsburg. The Eagles host Hughes Springs on 9/17 for Homecoming. 

The District campaign begins at home on 9/24 against the Gladewater Bears. Early predictions pick the Bears as the test of the District. October starts with an open date on the first followed by a trip to New Boston on October 8. The Rabbits from Atlanta will come calling on October 15 with the Eagles going to Jefferson the next week to play the Bulldogs. New Boston, Atlanta, and Jefferson are all trying to rebound from tough 2020 seasons. Senior Night for 2021 will be the night of October 29 as Tatum hosts the Roughnecks from White Oak. The regular season concludes 11/5 as Tatum travels to Sabine. 

It could be a big year for Eagle fans.

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