The Tigers begin their 2014 football schedule against one of their own in Victoria St. Joseph’s Dustin Meaux, who will be making his head-coaching debut in the 7:30 p.m. contest at Tiger Stadium.
Meaux, 29, starred in football at Goliad and Texas Lutheran before playing one season professionally for the Corpus Christi Sharks of the Arena League’s af2 developmental league.
“It’s super exciting for my first ball game as a head football coach to be in my hometown and on the field I played on,” Meaux said. “It’s going to be a special day.”
“He’s a Goliad boy and I actually tried to hire him a couple of times,” Goliad coach John Mares said. “He’ll have them fired up and ready to roll. He’s a good coach.”
The Tigers enter the season with high expectations after reaching the area playoffs in 2013. Goliad welcomed transfer quarterback Nate Kowalik in the summer and he helped the Tigers’ 7-on-7 team reach the state tournament for the first time.
“The offense is clicking,” Mares said. “Looking at the film, you can always see things you need to work on. I think we’re headed in the right direction. Every day is a new day and we need to work on what we’re doing good and what we’re doing not so good.”
Kowalik has a skilled group of receivers in Desmond Perry, Akil Ellis, Justin Thomas, Mac Wimberly and Joseph Burns, who is expected to see time at running back with Ty Ross. The offensive line returns starters Irwin Franklin and Hunter Rodriguez.
The Tigers’ defense returns five starters, including Colby Zamzow and Thomas in the secondary, Ross and Rodriguez on the line and Burns at linebacker.
“They are very talented,” Meaux said of the Tigers.
“They have a pretty talented quarterback and some good secondary guys. They are pretty sound and disciplined.”
Meaux, who on the Victoria West staff for 2 1/2 years before taking the St. Joseph position in July, greeted nine returning starters from last year’s team that went 2-8. He scrapped the Flyers’ Flex Bone option offense for the Wing-T.
“Our kids are doing what they need to do to try to get better everyday,” said Meaux, who has also served on the staffs at Victoria Memorial, Louise and Pearsall.
“We’re going to be more physical and try to put our kids in a situation to do stuff to be successful all the time. Our kids have to put themselves in a position to be successful with their work and their attitude.”
Goliad’s offense moved the ball well during its scrimmages against Taft and Karnes City.
“We’re moving forward,” Mares said.
“We hope to get off to a good start Friday night and build on that.”
Goliad will compete in District 15-3A, Division I this season with Hallettsville, which is ranked No. 2 in the Class 2A preseason poll. The Tigers are expected to contend for the district title with the Brahmas.
“Between the players, coaches and parents, we’re ready to get this thing underway,” Mares said.