“We've been able to get some kids that were dinged up back healthy again and that really makes a difference when you have 11 different kids working together on each side of the ball,” Taber said.
With the return of a handful of players from the disabled list, Taber and company have been able to return some of the sophomores and freshmen that have been pressed into service back to the sub-varsity teams.
“We wanted to get some of the younger kids back to the teams that they belong on,” Taber said. “We'll see more juniors and seniors on the field Friday night, and at this time of the year that's what it should be.”
Taber said that practices last week and early this week have been spirited and that the team is welcoming the fresh start.
“Our focus is on what is ahead of us and not what has happened in the past,” he said. “We know that if we can win two of our last five games that we will be in the playoffs and that was one of our goals from the start.”
There's a new breed of Dragons roaming around Nacogdoches this year, as the team's opponents have been discovering this fall. Forget the fact that the Tribe have won the last five meetings with the Dragons — the last time Nacogdoches defeated Jacksonville was on Oct. 19, 2007 when the Black and Gold prevailed 31-7 at Tomato Bowl.
With 30 lettermen, 18 of which are starters, returning from last season's 0-10 club, it's easy to see why the Dragons, coached by Bobby Reyes, will be bringing a 4-1 record to town this week.
Nacogdoches has earned wins over Henderson, Lufkin, Hallsville and Pine Tree, while losing by four points to Carthage (44-40).
The Dragons and the Indians share two common opponents, Carthage and Henderson.