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Tigers sticking with what works

POSTED: August 30, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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The 2008 Commerce High School Tigers

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A lot has changed since Commerce played in the Georgia Dome in the Class A state semifinals in 2006.

After the 10-3 Dome season, the Tigers finished 6-5 in 2007, good for another playoff spot, but with an earlier exit than they were used to — the first round.

With a younger team and new players expected to fill the holes left by top-tier players, Commerce looks to re-create the powerhouse that once graced the Georgia Dome.

The offense that averaged 30 points a game last year must deal with the graduation of 2007 leading rusher and passer Reuben Haynes. Even without a scrambling quarterback, Tigers coach Steve Savage will continue to use his triple option scheme this year, using halfbacks Jon Cash and Javon Womack as his primary rushers and Chase Bowen as a fullback. Seniors Cameron Billings and Austin Hanley lead the offensive line.

“We’ve always been a running team,” Savage said.

Despite allowing 32 points per game last year, the Commerce defense won’t change much, relying more on a year of added experience from last year’s starters. The Tigers will utilize an eight-man front, the same as last year, keeping the line of scrimmage busy.

Junior Josh Streetman, the Tigers’ leading tackler in 2007, will anchor the defense at middle linebacker. He is joined by fellow inside linebacker Travaris Glasper and outside linebackers Thomas Sears and Doug Maloch.

Bowen leads Commerce’s defensive line, along with senior defensive end Matt Adams.
“I think we’ll be better defensively,” Savage said.

While the Tigers may not be a Georgia Dome contender once again just yet, they could surprise region 8-A with a more experienced defense and Savage’s effective triple option offense.

“The region will be tough this year,” Savage said. “We just want to win as many as we can.”


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