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Fort Smith
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Dugan Aims To Drop Bombs On 3A-1 Defenses

Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

Last year, the Mansfield Sr High Tigers ended their 2020-2021 football season with a 1-9 record. It was a tough pill to swallow, to say the least. But at the conclusion of the school year and after graduating eight seniors, the Tigers took to the field for summer practice to revamp their situation. With a few new faces, along with a majority of returning players, the Tigers dug in and got to work. One of those familiar faces returning this season is senior Quarterback Zayne Dugan. “Zayne has been working hard this summer to improve,” stated head coach, Tim Cothran. “He has shown a greater maturity which was to be expected. His decision-making and leadership abilities have improved which was apparent this year during camp. He is a kid that wants to win and is putting the team first!”  

Coming in at 6 feet 6 inches, Dugan’s height isn’t the only thing that makes people stop and take notice. It’s the way he graces the field with his accuracy, footwork, pocket presence, and decision making no matter how much or how little pressure is attendant. Even with 2020’s losses, Dugan still amazingly passed for 1303 yards and plowed up 68 rushing yards. “I’m feeling good in my position and about our team this season. We have many returning players in the backfield who have been running the offense with me for five seasons now,” explained Dugan. “We’ve had some good conditioning this summer and we’re all ready to get on the field and play against somebody other than ourselves.”

With a team chocked full of players skilled in their positions and excited to turn things around, the Mansfield Tigers are prepared to pull out all the stops leaving nothing in their tank. “During our summer camps this year we ran the ball really well so I’m looking forward to seeing that happen as well as our passing game opening up a little more.” When asked which teammate he thought stepped up to the plate during the preseason, Dugan responded, “Kindel Noblitt. He’s at practice early every day, giving his all and making sure nobody is slacking.”

Every year as schedules get posted, there is always that one game that is highlighted for its utmost importance. For Dugan, that game is the Mansfield/Hackett face-off. “They’re always good competition and a fun rivalry game.” Spanning back decades, football masses have always shown up to watch this Sebastian County Rivalry Showdown. For the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Mansfield kept the upper hand as they ended the Tiger/Hornet battle with scores of 28-26 and 40-8. But then last year, as Mansfield was hoping for a tic tac toe three in a row, Hackett caged up the Tigers earning a 60-46 victory. But before the Tigers can think about Hackett, first up on their list is their scrimmage with the Mena Bearcats on Tuesday, August 17 at home with Jr High starting at 6 pm. The Mansfield Tigers will kick-off their 2021 football season on August 27 hosting the Magazine Rattlers.

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