GOLIAD – A new era of Tiger football began Aug. 3, the first day for fall sports practices across the state in 1A-4A.

First-year coach Kevin Salazar led the Tigers onto the team’s practice field behind the Goliad Events Center.

“Good attitudes, great effort,” Salazar said in summing up the first days of practice for the 2020 season.

“It’s just exciting to be back on the field with them.”

He said the players have responded well to the start of the year.

“The first few days have gone great,” he noted. “The kids have showed up and they’re working hard.

“Offensively, defensively, special teams wise, everything we’ve asked them to do, they’ve been able to handle.”

Attendance for the first week, Salazar said, averaged about 50 players.

“It’s about what we expected,” he said. “We thought that we might possibly have a few more.”

He also added that he knows there are a handful of other players who haven’t come out for the team or are being held out by their parents because of COVID-19 concerns.

The players who have been practicing have had to adjust to the UIL’s safety protocols and guidelines, which includes social distancing and a mask mandate.

“Our kids were already accustomed and used to wearing the masks, showing up and getting their temperatures taken,” said Salazar, adding that the school is using the same screening protocols for practices that it did for its summer strength and conditioning program.

“We already had a system in order on how we did things. Our kids have just kind of kept that going.

“So far, it’s been good and our kids have done a great job.”

Volleyball

The Tigerette volleyball team hit the court for the first time on Aug. 3 as well.

“I am extremely happy with our first few days of practice,” said coach Jess Odem. “I have had a great turnout from my girls all summer long. Once the official two-a-days date hit, we just kept the engine going and tried perfecting something every day.

“These girls are workhorses and have put in a lot of time and effort all summer, I am so happy and proud to be their coach and can’t wait to see what we will accomplish this season.”

Odem said the team’s motto this year is “strong alone, unstoppable together.”

“It is so fitting for this group of girls,” she said. “Every girl on the team has many different strengths and when they are all put together, we will become unstoppable.”

Kevin J. Keller has been the sports editor at the Beeville Bee-Picayune since 2014. He can be reached by email at sports@mysoutex.com or by phone at 361-343-5223, or you can follow him on Twitter @beepicsports.

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