By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
Coach Trey Sissom, in his third season at Travis and coming off a second-place finish (5-2) in District 20-6A, is upbeat about the program and the upcoming season.
“The sophomores we started when we got here, are now seniors and have been in our program for three years now. They understand the playbook, the drills, and the strength and conditioning programs,” Sissom said.
The Tigers are a passing and hurry-up offense team with high quality skill position players. Returning are quarterback Amryn Jeffery, running back Naveon Mitchell, and wide receiver Arjei Henderson, all were all-district first team selections last year.
“Amryn and Naveon are our senior leaders. Naveon missed several games early in the season and we didn’t hit our stride until he was back in the lineup,” Sissom said. “Henderson is a really talented player with big play capability. We are also counting Austin Bertness to make some plays at wide receiver and tight end.”
Jeffery is a third-year starter and a pro-style passer.
“We throw about 65 percent of the time, but we don’t force it. We will take what the defense gives us,” Jeffery said. “We have some really good receivers who can make big plays.”
Because the offense can score quickly, the Tigers’ defense can be on the field for a lot of minutes.
“We will rotate in 20 to 25 players on defense compared to only 13 to 14 on offense. Because of the hurry-up offense, we don’t substitute much on offense. But because the defense is playing a lot of minutes, we will use a lot of players,” Sissom said. “This year we are two-deep with good athletes on defense. We really concentrated on building up our strength and improving our speed the last three years, and we are starting to see it pay off.”
Leading the defense are linebacker Jake Lynch, a returning all-district first teamer, and defensive Braxton White. Both are seniors and team captains.
“We would like to get off to a good start this year,” Lynch said. “Our goal is to be 3-0 going into district play.”
Lynch has committed to Texas State University.
Braxton White plays left defensive end in the Tigers’ 3-4 defense.
“Our defense is in good shape right now,” White said. “I am very confident in our defensive abilities.”
Zach Zimos is a second team all-district safety who will lead the defensive backfield, and defensive end Felix Etugbo brings depth to the defensive line.
Travis’ goal is to get 80 offensive plays each game.
“If we get 80 plays in a game, we will win the game,” Sissom said. “What we can’t do is beat ourselves. In our three losses last season, we had three or four turnovers in each of the games. At this level, you can’t win doing that.”
Travis opens its season with Reagan on Thursday night at Delmar Stadium.