(WHNT) – For episode eight of On the Road with Olivia and Claudia, we head back out to the Shoals to feature the Brooks Lions and Lauderdale County Tigers.
Tim Bowens enters his second year as head coach of the Brooks Lions. He said he’s learned a lot in year one and now year two is all about how they do things.
“With our kids knowing now the how and the why, that’s going to help them and not just knowing the what to do. If not having the reason to know why I’m going to go do this, I’m just going to do this, you’ve got to understand that so I think that’s going to help our kids more than anything,” Bowens said.
The Lions always say in their meetings start fast, finish strong, which Bowens is having his players apply to their lives both on and off the field.
“We have a vision and a direction that we’re trying to take these young men, and we want to be disciplined and successful champions and making them champions in life as well. And teaching them what success looks like. I think everybody’s success is a little different, it’s not always a number on the scoreboard it’s not always a record. Making sure that they’re maximizing themselves the best they can,” Bowens added.
The Lions are just two years removed from an undefeated regular season, but last year, they just missed out on the playoffs. This will be another young team with just seven seniors and a few returning starters but Bowens said this young group is hungry.
“You’ll see just like last year, we’ll have four or five ninth graders starting for us, we’ll have a couple play for us again. We’ve done all that we could to get them to this point and get some experience and I’m excited about this team. I think we’re going to be a physical team, we’re going to fly around the ball, we’re going to try to be fast and we’re going to try to score points,” Bowens said.
Now, we check in with Jeff Mason and his Tigers. Mason is in his eighth year as head coach, but he’s been with Lauderdale County for much longer as an assistant – and even as a player.
“I learned a long time ago that I don’t know much. Things change, you have to change with them, but there’s certain things that don’t change and that’s work ethic and mental toughness and dedication and stuff. You get out of anything what you put in. I learned a lot of things but a lot of it I’ve learned over the years from other good people I’ve been around and you learn something from these guys every day,” Mason said.
The Tigers went 7-5 last season and made it to the second round of the playoffs despite suffering numerous injuries. But Mason said now they have that experience and a lot of depth that they haven’t had in years past.
“We have quite a bit of depth at running back for the first time in a few years. That forced us to play a lot of young guys and we’re seeing though that that might pay off a bit this year,” Mason added.
Mason’s son is a senior this year and so coach Mason said this year’s class means a lot to him. But he said they’re a special, tight-knit group overall that is motivated for a special ending.
“They care about each other as a team. I’m really, really close with this senior class because I’ve seen them since they were in preschool from this point. So this one has a little bit of a different feel to it, and I am trying to sit back and I’m trying to make it go slower but I’m not having much luck,” Mason said.
The Tigers will host Tanner on August 24, while the Lions are also in action on that Thursday, taking on Colbert County at home.