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MIDDLETON

What are the Tigers doing?

A new coach with a strong, albeit brief record of coaching success plans to put a struggling program back on top by getting back to basics.

Networking

What they're saying about the Tigers

Coach Jason Stokes "We really need to stay healthy. It's important for any team, but there's a big difference between your ones and twos at a smaller school."

Coach Jason Stokes "The kids have been really responsive to me and the coaching staff. ... Everyone has to be on the same game plan."

Blake (and former Middleton) coach Harry Hubbard "The guys I coached over there are talented athletes. The number of athletes declined a little over the past couple years."

QB Willie Clay "We want to go out there and show that 2-8 isn't Middleton. This is for this year, but it's also for the future. It feels like we're starting over from scratch."

QB Willie Clay "A lot of guys left (in the offseason). We were all anxious about who the new coach was, but now a lot of those guys wish they hadn't left."

Friday Night Rewind Stokes brings a winning attitude to Middleton. Talent abounds, and if the Tigers can execute on the field, they can win their new 2A district after struggling in 4A.

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Additional characters

A few Tigers we'll be following on Fridays

RB/SS Earnest Mingo Senior leader is poised for a breakout season. A ballhawk on defense and strong runner on offense, Stokes calls him another coach on the field.

QB Willie Clay A former receiver who had no aspirations of playing QB, he has the tools - especially the arm - to be the starter.

WR Justin Sanders A varsity player since he was a freshman, he offers experience, leadership and a vertical threat.

RB/LB Vasty Paul Hillsborough transfer is a practice pace-setter Stokes said makes everyone else better.

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Tweet and sour

Why the Tigers will make the playoffs

WillWinIf Take charge of a wide-open district with their talent and athleticism.

Why the Tigers may not make the playoffs

WillLoseIf Middleton's cohesiveness sputters and players don't embrace their roles.

Up next:LETO

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