GOLIAD – Cameron Morris hasn’t forgotten the feeling of watching his uncle and former Goliad quarterback Rocky Morris break his collarbone last season.

Seeing the Tigers’ starting quarterback in pain was difficult, but it didn’t stop him from seizing the moment.

Cameron Morris shared the quarterback position with Dontavion Clay for seven games, with the Tigers winning five of those contests. Morris, who also plays defensive back, feels he gained the necessary experience to help the Tigers make another playoff run.

“It helped me a lot, and now I’m ready for any game and I’m not nervous,” Morris said. “It’s good to have a couple of wins under my belt.”

Goliad finished 10-3 overall last year and posted a 4-1 record in District 14-3A, Division I play.

The Tigers’ season ended after a 38-35 regional playoff loss to Yoakum.

“It feels great to be back,” Morris said. “We didn’t go as far as we wanted to last year, so we’re glad to get out here to try and get better every day.”

Finding depth will be key for Goliad with the return of 12 starters on offense and defense.

The Tigers will return offensive linemen Alex Salas, Isaac Mendez, Clayton Klekar, Paul Rojas, Shane Henson and Jaedon Segura. Goliad’s defense will comprise Morris, Mason Martinez, Grant Garnett, Xavier Perry and Shaun Justice.

The Tigers will be without linebacker Darese Steptoe, who moved to Houston in the offseason.

“We’re a young team this year, but I think we will do really good,” said Justice, who also plays running back. “We have guys with skill on the field, and we’re motivated. It’s not just about one person, it’s about playing as a team.”

Goliad coach Bobby Nicholson said sophomore Reese Ruhnke will also see some playing time behind center.

Nicholson will begin his fourth season as the Tigers’ head coach.

Since he took over in 2016, the Tigers have gone 30-9.

“These kids are well-behaved and they’re disciplined,” Nicholson said. “I can’t say nothing but good things about them because they’re all working hard. We don’t have the depth we had last year, but they understand that. They know every piece is important.”

Goliad will begin the season ranked No. 8 in the Class 3A, Division I poll.

The Tigers will open the season Aug. 30 at Columbus and district play will begin Oct. 11 against Luling.

Goliad will play its second season in District 13-4A with Edna, Industrial, Hallettsville, Luling and Yoakum.

“I don’t disrespect anybody on our non-district schedule,” Nicholson said. “It’s going to be tough, but playing those five games against Columbus, Refugio, George West, Rockport-Fulton and Shiner will be brutal. Hopefully, it will make us battle-tested for district.”

Rey Castillo is the assistant sports editor for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached at rcastillo@vicad.com, 361-574-1240 or on Twitter @reycastillo361.

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