RISON – Defense has been and will be a primary focus for Rison Coach Clay Totty and staff this season as they look to build off a 7-4 finish in 2016 that saw the Wildcats fall in the first round of the playoffs.
“We know we’ve got to improve there (defense),” Totty said this week. “We scored enough points to beat Hampton (a 44-33 loss) and Hector (a 52-27 loss in the playoffs), but we couldn’t stop them on defense.”
The Wildcats scored 345 points through 11 games last year to average 31.3 points per game on offense. Defensively, they gave up 270 points, an average of 24.5 points per game.
Rison also failed to throw a shutout on defense last year, breaking a streak of recording at least one shutout a season that went back to 1980.
The good news for Totty and the ‘Cats is that they will be bringing back some experience this year that will serve as the foundation for 2017. Rison returns eight starters on offense and eight on defense.
One reason the defense may have suffered last season was the fact that Totty was forced to play a lot of sophomores due to injuries and other factors. The Wildcats had six sophomores start on defense during in 2016.
To read the full article, see the August 9, 2017 print or e-Herald edition of The Herald.