Tidehaven has found success over the past three years, making it to the regional round in 2017, the state quarterfinals in 2018 and the bi-district round in 2019.
Head coach David Lucio is happy with how far the program has progressed.
“The thing about Tidehaven is we don’t normally have gigantic kids walking around, we build in the offseason,” Lucio said. “So when we didn’t get the same time we normally do in the weight room because of COVID, it kind of scared us. But we got in some good work and it’s showed in our first few weeks of practice.”
Tidehaven will compete in District 14-3A, Division II along with Van Vleck, Rice Consolidated, East Bernard, Danbury and Brazos.
Lucio will field an inexperienced team this year and hopes they get the jitters out in their first few games.
“When you play some young guys you know there will be mistakes,” he said. “What we are looking for is physicality and fearlessness from them. We want that they will do whatever it takes. Week to week that’s what we expect and the rest will come.”
Van Vleck missed the playoffs last year after making the postseason in 2018.
Head coach Robert Blackmon’s goal is to get back in the postseason, but he knows it will be a hard task in this district.
“I think it’s going to be tough,” Blackmon said. “We have some strong new schools and East Bernard and Tidehaven have extremely good programs that are always right there at the top. Rice has gotten better as well, so we have to be at our best to get one of those four spots.”
Rice Consolidated made it to the playoffs last season, going 5-5 and 3-2 in district.
Jared Sloan, the head coach of the Raiders, is focused on getting his team ready for the season.
“I think we’re kind of like everyone else in that we are trying to get back into shape and those three months we lost is definitely showing up a little bit in conditioning,” Sloan said. “But we’ve shown a lot of positives in these first few weeks of practice and if we keep building on that move forward then I think we’ll have success this season.”