After finishing the 2018 football campaign 1-9, the Cape Central Tigers brought in Kent Gibbs, former Sikeston head coach for the last 12 years, to infuse some new life and energy into the program. It’s something he’s known for doing. At all of his stops on his coaching journey (Hayti, East Prairie, Fredericktown, and Sikeston), he’s found his niche in helping struggling programs get back on their feet.
And he entered the scene at Cape Central with no preconceived notions. “Quite honestly I did not look at last year’s film for starters,” he admitted. “We started from scratch and went from there.” Practices have been intense and organized. Gibbs is hoping to change the atmosphere around the program. “Someone told me we dressed out 26 kids for the last game of the season, so we want to try and build some confidence in our kids, establish our preferred culture, and work as hard as we can,” he stated. “I don’t really look at wins and losses as much as I do improvement. We want to get better inch by inch and hopefully that will put us in a position to compete well in our district.”
To do that, Gibbs will look to skill position players such as Cameron Cox (QB), Tyrus Reddin (RB), Deshawn Franklin (RB), and Donye Taylor (WR) to lead the charge offensively. TJ Haggerty, Nolan Ewers, and Logan Solis will be the stalwarts on the offensive line.
Franklin (ILB) and Reddin (DB) hope to shine on defense as well. Gibbs also mentioned Tanner Herbst (DE) and Cameren Walley (ILB) as two athletes that will make their mark on the defensive side of the ball.
The head coach has seen good things from Levi Tuschoff, Damione Edwards, Dorian Triplett, Logan King, Landon Pearson, and Cameron Harris. These athletes have worked hard and stood out with their work ethic .
Gibbs understands the uphill climb his team has to make. The schedule is pretty unrelenting. “It’s tough!,” he exclaimed. “Our conference is a tough conference. Both Poplar Bluff and Jackson will have about 450 kids more in school than us, Farmington will be really good this year, and we have the rivalry game vs. Sikeston. We also play DeSmet in St Louis, North County is always well coached and tough to defend, and St Charles plays physical.”
But there’s an excitement around the program, and the team is enthusiastic in its approach. “Our whole team will be a work in progress,” Gibbs noted. “I will say our kids seem to be hungry to succeed. We just have to work on a lot of the little things every day. I have enjoyed the summer and the beginning of building our program and in building relationships with the kids.”
It all gets underway on Friday, August 30 in Bonne Terre as the Tigers battle the Raiders of North County. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. For the complete varsity schedule, click here: 2019 Cape Central Football