On Friday, November 4, the Frenship Tigers hosted the San Angelo Central Bobcats at home for their final district game of the 2022 season. It was senior night for the Tigers and the team knew that a win would clinch the district championship for them. The teams battled back and forth, but ultimately Frenship came out on top with a 30-21 victory after shutting out the Bobcats in the second half.
Assistant Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach Jay Northcutt shared that the win was huge for his team, especially the seniors who got to enjoy hoisting the District Championship trophy to end Senior Night.
“I think it meant the world to them. I could tell last Monday in practice that they were hungry for it. We had a great week of practice. The game was tight, we were down by one point at halftime, but I could tell just by the vibe at halftime that the team was ready and we were going to come out and find a way to win.”
Northcutt expressed his gratitude for the support from the team from the District and the community throughout his time at Frenship.
“I’m grateful for the support that we’ve received over the last six years, and when you’re able to win that district championship, it makes you proud. It’s very rewarding for the coaches, but most of all it’s rewarding for the players and the community.
Northcutt also shared his gratitude for past leaders on the team who have since graduated. Those players helped to build the foundation of the program. He said the teams have had some rough seasons in the past, but had really high-character players, who left an impact on the culture of the program.
“There are a lot of habits that those guys created that I see in these guys today.”
While reflecting on the season so far, Northcutt recalled their very first game against Lubbock Coronado which ended with a loss.
“That was a pivotal moment for us in the season – we could have either learned from it and moved on, which we did – or it could have sunk us,” said Northcutt.
Northcutt believes that the team’s ability to move on and shift into ‘next play mentality’ in an electric win against Lubbock-Cooper helped set the stage for the rest of the season.
The idea of the ‘next play mentality’ has been a point of emphasis for the Tigers throughout the season. For Northcutt, ‘next play mentality’ means “no matter what is happening, we’re just worried about the next play.”
From the very beginning of the season, the team has had the goal of winning the District Championship and winning playoff games. They’ve been working towards those goals by focusing on their day-to-day as a team.
“One thing that we always emphasize, but that we’ve put an especially big emphasis on this year is that it’s important to have goals. Our goal for the regular season was to win a district championship. Our goal beyond the regular season is to go win playoff games. But the bigger focus was on what we did daily – the habits we’re creating daily. We were just wanting to worry about what was right in front of us every day and the standard we were bringing into practice daily and trying to improve that standard every day,” said Northcutt.
Northcutt said every year each team has its own personality, and he described this year’s team as a boiler.
“When a boiler is working right, it can heat the whole house, but if it’s not working right, it can blow the whole thing up,” said Northcutt. There are a lot of guys on this team who are very emotional and passionate about winning, but that can be a detriment if you don’t use it right. One of our themes this year was ‘throwing coal’ to keep the boiler hot.”
As the team looks ahead to the Bi-District Playoff Game against El Paso Eastlake Friday night, Northcutt said the team will stick with what has been working for their preparation.
“We are about as routine as you would ever get. We’re doing what got us here,” said Northcutt.
In preparing for the upcoming game, there’s a sense of celebration and pride throughout the program, with their first District Championship since 2014 looming large.
“It’s special just because of all of the things that go into preparing for a season. To have a group like what we have this year that’s just been really passionate about playing the game of football for the Frenship Tigers and passionate about working to have success is special. They’ve bought into everything that we’ve asked them to buy into. It’s very rewarding to see them cash in on that investment.”
The Tigers look to continue cashing in on their investment when they take on El Paso Eastlake at Peoples Bank Stadium on November 11. Kick off for the game will be at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the game can be purchased online here: https://www.frenship.net/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1941456&type=d&pREC_ID=2100298