Timberview, Summit open with cross-town battle

Posted Monday, Aug. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The motivational aspect of Summit head football coach Travis Pride’s job has been taken care of leading into his team’s season opener 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mansfield’s Vernon Newsom Stadium.

Yelling is not needed to get his team excited for a cross-town dual against Timberview, a team that has taken the matchup twice in the last two tries.

“I don’t have to have to give any great speeches to get them fired up for this,” Pride said.

Timberview enters the season opener the favorite for several reasons beyond its recent perfect winning percentage over Summit. The Wolves return what could be the best defensive secondary in the state, boasting commitments to LSU and Stanford.

Luckily, Pride has confidence in the ability of his young offensive unit, led by a standout sophomore quarterback Braden Nolan.

“He’s young and he kind of has the ‘it’ factor,” Pride said.

The endurance of those that surround Nolan is the biggest question mark for Pride and his team entering the season.

Due to lower numbers in the school as a whole, Pride is forced to utilize some of his best athletes on both sides of the ball this year, a task he has not asked of his players before.

The majority of concentration during Summit’s scrimmage Friday was monitoring the handful of player’s who went both ways and how well they are conditioned for the daunting task.

“One big question is, you can tell your kids how tiresome and exhausting it is going to be to play multiple snaps on both sides of the ball, but you never know how it’s going to be for them,” Pride said.

The team is young, returning just two players with significant varsity experience on offense. Beyond the fitness of players going both ways is the concern that the spotlight can be very bright on inexperienced players.

“When you flip on the lights for the first time on a Friday night, I think one of our keys is just for our kids to relax and play football and try to relieve some of the nerves and some of the anxiety and all those things that go into the first game of the season, but for the majority of our kids, their first Varsity game period,” Pride said.

However, last season’s 27-13 loss to Timberview is on the minds of those stepping up to the challenge this year, and there’s nothing like a rivalry matchup to level the playing field on a Friday night.

Also in action:

•  Mansfield hosts Arlington Bowie, 7:30 p.m. Friday at R.L. Anderson Stadium.

•  Legacy travels to McKinney to face off with McKinney High at Ron Poe Stadium on Friday with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

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