Malakoff aims to finish business after 2018 run
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Tigers did everything but win their final game during the 2018 season. The loss sent them home from AT&T Stadium with a silver medal as their run came to an end in the 3A, Division I State championship game against rival Grandview.
The Tigers made their historic run despite some key injuries and a fairly young squad leading the way. Darion Peace took the next step as he had quite the season offensively with R.J. Carr playing a big part for the Tigers.
“He’s a leader out there,” Driskell said of Peace. “The kids look to him and he knows the right decisions to make on a consistent basis.”
Malakoff finished the season 4-1 in district play and 13-4 overall, winning the Bi-district, Area, Regional semifinal, Regional final and State semifinal championship on their run to their first ever State championship appearance.
Entering his 11th year as head coach, Driskell has brought the Tigers a long way since he started his tenure at Malakoff High School, and that has expectations high entering 2019.
“The kids really put in the work,” Driskell said. “I think playing those extra six games really helped us prepare.”
Having a good group of veterans on the squad entering the 2019 season, Driskell says this team isn’t going to be blindsided by anything after facing adversity on and off the field last season.
“They’ve got a lot of experience and they know what to expect. I think last year was great for us, but what’s important is we have to re-establish what got us there.”
The pre-district schedule sets up as a tough one for Malakoff, but Driskell says that’s no accident and it will prepare them for the fight as they reach their district schedule later in the season.
“Our pre-district is very tough. It’s a fine line where you want to win games but you want to play very good competition. It’s important for us to stay healthy and play well come district time and playoff time.”
Driskell also stated that he couldn’t see himself anywhere else and that the teams he’s had and the Tigers squad that’s entering 2019 is very special.
“The guys that we have out here, I wouldn’t want anybody else. I wouldn’t have anybody else than what we have out here on this field.”