The Wharton Tigers have hit the halfway point in their season, closing non-district play 0-5.
The start of the year has been hard for the young Tigers. Injuries have kept them from being consistent during their first five games. However, with no game this week, the Wharton coaching staff hopes the bye will help the athletes heal up while giving them time to focus on cleaning up mistakes.
“The bye week will be great for us to focus on ourselves for a few days before turning our attention to Bellville,” Wharton head coach Chad Butler said. “We will be getting some guys back who have been out and getting healthy is always important.”
Three of the five teams Wharton played in the preseason, went at least two rounds deep in the playoffs, which Butler sees as preparation for district play next Friday, Oct. 8.
“Our guys understand we have played some tough opponents and we know what it’s like to be in those type games,” Butler said. “I fully expect us to be in the thick of the district race and that started today. We got some really good work in today that was centered entirely on toughness.”
While the defense allows more than 50 points per game, Butler sees better plays than the numbers show. With the offense not being consistent, it’s made the defense stay on the field more than normal.
When the offense can drive the ball and give their defenders a breather, they have been successful. Against Bay City, the defense allowed 21 points, the best total of the year. In the game, the offense put together drives and got into the red zone numerous times.
“To be honest, the scores don’t indicate it, but our defense is not far from being very stingy,” Butler said. “We have put them in some bad situations with our inconsistency on offense and some crucial turnovers on special teams.”
The wins haven’t been there for the Tigers, but Butler has seen positives.
With the district play set to begin, it’s a brand new season for Wharton.
“We have a lot of bright spots. We do have a large number of guys playing varsity for the first time, but they have talent and they showed today that this means something to them,” Butler said. “We are 0-0 now and nothing matters except getting better every day.”
Wharton’s district includes Bellville, who’s ranked sixth in the state, and La Marque, Brookshire Royal, Sealy and Sweeny.