The Dawson County Middle School football team has been using early morning practices to prepare for the 2012 season.
The Tigers have been starting at 6:30 a.m. in order to beat the heat.
"Practicing early has really worked for us," said head coach Thomy Edwards.
Edwards will begin his third season as head coach of the Tigers. He has been coaching and teaching at the school for four years. His first year was as an assistant under coach Frank Brown.
Assistant coaches will be Frank Brown and Steven Moates on defense and Russell Burt on offense.
"We have a great coaching staff," Edwards said.
Dawson County is coming of a disappointing 2-4 record last season.
Edwards said his team will concentrate on finishing off games this season.
"Last year there was a couple [of] ball games that we were winning, or only down a touchdown in the last quarter, but ended up falling short of the win. We hope to change that this year," Edwards said.
On offense the Tigers are working on running the wishbone.
"We are going to try to be a ball controlling offensive. Nothing flashy, just some old-school, smash mouth football," Edwards said.
Defensively the team will employ a 4-4 scheme.
"We are working on not quitting until you hear the whistle. We want all 11 players on the field to run to the football," he said.
The Dawson County quarterback this season will be Colin Glover.
Joining Glover in the backfield will be running backs Jordan Hannah, Hunter Burt, Taylor Cronan, Rusty Chester, Caine Wells and Jeremy Whalen.
"As you can see we have a hand full of running backs that I am going to use this year," Edwards said.
The offensive line will consist of center Jordan Waddell, right guard Cody Garmon, left guard Carson Weatherford, right tackle Sawyer Smith and left tackle Jacob Branson.
At wide receiver will be Austin Young and playing tight end will be Hunter LeBaron.
Coaches Brown and Moates will have some talent on defense.
Playing along the defensive line will be nose tackle Waddell, tackle Smith, ends Weatherford and LeBaron.
Playing inside linebackers will be Hannah and Garmon.
Playing the outside linebacker position will be Cronan, Burt, Myers and Dorian Richardson.
In the secondary will be Chester, Young and Whalen.
"We must get consistent play from last season's returning players Hunter LeBaron, Hunter Burt, Rusty Chester, Colin Glover and Jordan Hannah for us to be successful," Edwards said. "I expect my players to always go 100 percent and win the games that are close."
Dawson County will play in a preseason Jamboree at Jasper Middle School on Aug. 14. The game will begin at 5 p.m.
The Tigers will play their first regular season game against Riverview Middle Aug. 25. As of press time, a kickoff time had not been set yet.