TROUP, Texas (KETK) — The Troup Tigers are under new leadership, with defensive coordinator Sam Wells taking over for coach John Eastman. Wells wants to continue having the identity of the Tigers be physicality.

“Kind of build upon what coach Eastman brought to the table as far as the toughness factor, work ethic, responsibility, and our kids just getting after it every Friday night and playing hard, and that’s what we’re known as kids that play hard,” explains Wells.

“We transitioned well, he is more of a defensive guy, so he is going to be tough on us and that’s what we want, we got to have that,” says Troup ATH Trae Davis.

The Tigers pulled off a close win over the Harmony Eagles last season, which was a major turning point, beating a team, for some players, for the first time ever, even going back to 7th grade, proving they could compete with anyone.

“Harmony, Bullard, all of them bigger schools that we played against and beat I’m pretty sure that helped us fuel and not let us know who we are and how we can do things if we put our mind to it,” tells running back Kevin Pierce.

“Hopefully, that carries over into this season and every game that we can compete against everybody, and we always got a chance,” declares Wells.

Troup is in a strong district with teams like state-ranked West Rusk, but coach Wells feels his team will be battle-tested in their non-district slate.

“You know that we got to come to compete every Friday night and we can’t overlook anybody that we play and that’s the mindset we have to have and we have to play every Friday night and get after it every time and take advantage of our opportunities during the games,” exclaims coach Wells.

The Tigers are focusing on depth and execution during fall camp, looking to once again defend the Den when the season kicks off later this month.