By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
An injured Tiger team will take the field against the undefeated Princeton Panthers at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 at Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers lost both seniors J.J. Protho and Isaiah Martinez to injuries in their defeat against the Cooper Bulldogs on Sept. 6.
According to Tiger Head Coach Scott Wells, both players will be out until at least district play, which begins with their game at Van Alstyne on Oct. 4.
Wells said Martinez’s injury could put him out for the season, depending on what they hear back from the MRI.
With both players being seniors who grew up with the team, Wells said that makes it more difficult.
“Martinez is such a fine young man,” he said. “Both worked extremely hard to get to this point.”
Since both players start in multiple starting positions, the injuries will take some toll on the team, Wells said.
“With our kids, when one of them gets injured, it affects multiple positions,” he said, adding that he moved up a few players from junior varsity to fill some gaps. “We have four starters on defence who are hurt.”
One way Wells said they will be able to improve their game is by reducing the number of penalties, of which Commerce had four in the first half against the Bulldogs.
“We have to cut those penalties out,” he said.
The Tigers are facing another strong running team in the Panthers, who have more than 300 yards rushing in their first two games. Wells said he changed up his defensive scheme to help accomodate his smaller players against the big running threat.
“We changed schemes going into the season but it has not worked to well so far,” he said. “We’re going to simplify it to where it’s one gap, one responsibility.”
Wells said the team has taken well to the changes and have had a good week of practice and expects a good game against the Panthers.