East Central Tigers Football Preview

ADA, Okla. - The East Central Tigers made a return to the postseason for the first time since 1993 when they won the NAIA National Championship.

The Tigers aren't content with just making it to a bowl game though, they're looking to build off that success.

"We're thankful for a winning season and being able to play in the postseason, but at the same time I look, and hopefully my team looks, at what was left on the table," Head Coach Tim McCarty said. "We don't want any scraps left out there, so we have a lot to do and a lot to prove."

"We started out really good, but we kind of crumbled there at the end," Offensive Lineman Travis Henning said. "We did the things that are going to make us win in this year in the summer and we put the work in, so we're ready to put it together."

ECU returns 60 players from last year, eight starters, including Third Team AP All-American offensive lineman Travis Henning, who will block for a new quarterback this year. Local Madill product Spencer Bond has made the move to the other side of the ball, he will play safety in his senior season.

"He has had a terrific summer and fall camp," McCarty said. "He's really married the position, of course it's a position he wanted to, it doesn't surprise me because he is such a terrific athlete and kid."

"I actually get to hit somebody instead of getting hit," Bond said. "I'm enjoying it. It's fun covering guys and be on the defensive side this year."

East Central fell to their rival Southeastern for the first time in four years last year. They look to get back on top in that rivalry and make a second straight postseason run.

"Our expectations are to go 1-0 every week and ultimately win every game, but we got to drill down and do the little things first," Bond said.

East Central's first game is on Thursday, Sept. 3 against No. 12 Ouachita Baptist at 6 p.m. at Koi Ishto Stadium.