Fostering consistency within Tiger football is a focus for Dripping Springs head coach Galen Zimmerman, who oversaw the program complete its third week of spring practices Friday.
For Zimmerman, stability is imperative for a team that expects to mix inexperience with seasoned veterans in 2018.
But it’s vitally important for a Tiger program that aims to take another step in its quest to become a regional football power. Three straight trips to the playoffs and back-to-back district titles often raise the level of expectations.
Getting a young group of Tigers to equally raise their expectations, both on and off the field, is what Zimmerman hopes can guide his program to play December football.
“It’s about understanding the level of work and the level of film study that you have to do to become one of those teams. Because it’s a different level,” Zimmerman said. “It doesn’t just happen. It’s understanding how you prepare in the offseason and in spring ball, because it’s a different level.”
A handful of new faces will populate the Tiger varsity program, which will return xxx total starters from the 2017 campaign.
Many returning players players gained varsity experience while playing as a backup or filling in for injured starters, but are now gaining an opportunity to compete for a starting role.
The “maturing process” also continues for younger players, who are starting to understand the speed of the varsity game.
“At times we look good, but at times we look discombobulated,” Zimmerman said. “We have to become a consistent program. All good programs have that characteristic.”
Maturation will be a primary attribute in deciding who will fill the shoes of soon-to-be graduate Trevor Greenman at quarterback next season.
Four athletes, Tanner Prewit, Zach Tjelmeland, Cameron O’Banan and Julian Wright, are battling for the right to become Dripping Springs’ next quarterback. It will mark the third straight season Dripping Springs will have a new quarterback in as many years.
Zimmerman said the process of finding its next quarterback won’t differ from the previous seasons. Once they discover the starter, the remaining three athletes could find a different role elsewhere on the field.
It’s a process the Tigers have followed with their two previous signal callers. Greenman, who earned all district honors, played on the defensive side of the ball before moving under center in his senior year. Former Tiger quarterback Reese Johnson, who earned all-state honors, also was a defensive back before moving over to offense.
“These guys are too good to stand on the sidelines. We don’t want to do that, but what’s best for the program year-to-year supersedes what goes on three years down the road,” Zimmerman said. “Our kids are smart enough, so they can make that change.”
Helping the Tigers will be a collection of veterans, including seniors Jake Cox, Kevin Perridore and Manny Ansumada, whose leadership capabilities will be utilized.
Joining them will be Lane Dominey, Nico Ramirez, Enzo Arnold and Parker Alford, who are playing baseball this spring and will be ready for the summer.
“It gives us an opportunity to see some new kids, with some of those guys we know,” Zimmerman said.