Dripping Springs High junior Tanner Prewit understands the size of cleats he’ll need to fill when he steps in at quarterback next fall.
His two predecessors each helped to navigate the Tiger football program to new levels of success not seen before in its history.
But for Prewit, future expectations are giving way to bolstering consistency for a Tiger program that returns only four total starters. As the Tigers concluded spring drills with a May 24 intersquad scrimmage, Prewit believes the Tigers took vast steps toward their goal.
“Our big thing is being consistent and I thought the last two weeks, we’ve played together as a team,” Prewit said. “Coach Z (Head Coach Galen Zimmerman) harps on that. If you want to win, you can’t be inconsistent or take a day off.”
Zimmerman said Dripping Springs made “great progress” during its spring practices, which helped to give many athletes a chance to hit the field. It also allowed the team to work on avoiding regression during the course of the month.
“We have done better with that and we’ve attacked it from the standpoint that we’re not doing this all at once,” Zimmerman said. “We’re going to be 1-0 today. The kids have done a great job of that and controlling the things they can.”
One area Zimmerman said showed the most progress was on the defensive side of the ball, which only returns one starter from 2017.
Up front, the Tigers found depth on the defensive line and found some playmakers in the process, Zimmerman said. In the defensive backfield, Enzo Arnold will anchor a secondary that will feature athletes who have varsity experience, but have never started. Those players include Nathan Koch and Lane Dominey, who was held out of spring football due to the Tiger baseball team’s playoff run.
Arnold’s leadership, along with the ability for the secondary to defend players such as wide receiver Parker Alford, could pay dividends.
“Having Parker there helps those guys raise their level,” Zimmerman said. “We always need to have guys who have been through the fire and raise the level and guide those other kids.”
On offense, the Tigers will look to Prewit and soon-to-be senior running back Jake Cox to shoulder the load. Alford, who snagged a couple of touchdowns in the spring game, as well as Ty Cox will lead the wide receiving corps.
Zimmerman said Prewit, who played cornerback and linebacker last season, is a competitor and is an “old school kind of football player” that doesn’t mind contact. Prewit said playing defense last season was the “best thing that happened to me” as it allowed him to see how defenses work.
“It’s about him going out on the field and trying to prove that he can be the better guy than the guy across from him,” Zimmerman said. “Kids on the field will feed off of him.
Cox, a two-year starter at running back, shares a “contact first” mentality and is expected to be the “bell cow” for the Tigers this season, Zimmerman said.
Dripping Springs’ offensive line, which was hit with injuries during spring practices, was a focal point for Zimmerman and his coaching staff. However, the injuries allowed for more players to see the field, which Zimmerman believes could be a benefit.
“That’s the most important thing, because you can’t run or pass if you can’t block up front,” Zimmerman said.
Dripping Springs will return to action Aug. 13 for summer practices. The Tigers open the 2018 season Aug. 31 at home against Kerrville Tivy.