SHELBY, Mich. (WZZM) — High school football games have never been so much fun at Shelby High School.
Six straight winning seasons, three straight playoff berths, and an unprecedented trip to the state semifinals in 2012 have made the Tigers a new powerhouse in West Michigan. When the Tigers won a dramatic regional final over Negaunee in the Upper Peninsula last November, their fans knew they had finally arrived.
“It was a first time experience for all of us,” says head coach Lorenzo Rodriguez. “It was a great experience. Our community enjoyed it, we enjoyed it, our administration enjoyed it. And the surrounding communities, we appreciate those people coming out and supporting us and they enjoyed watching us play some great football. And don’t get me wrong-we were very proud of what we did last year. But our goals are set a little bit higher this year and hopefully we can meet those goals.”
Rodriguez says he returns six starters on offense and defense. The Tigers will look to senior quarterback David Guerra to step into the starting role. “I’m very excited,” says Guerra. ” Senior year, I’m pumped. (Last year) was a great experience and it taught us that we’re capable of doing this. We were doubted last year, This year it will be the same but I think we’re capable of doing it again.”
For the sixth year in a row, Shelby opens the season against Grant High School, which it beat 33-14 last year. “We expect a good solid team that runs a 3-3 stacked defense,” says Rodriguez. “It gives us trouble year in and year out. It’s a stunting defense with a whole lot of movement to it so it causes trouble for any offense. We’re looking forward to a battle. They’re coming to our place this year and hopefully we come out with a win on Thursday night.”
Follow the Shelby Tigers and all the West Michigan teams on WZZM’s “13 On Your Sidelines” with Tom Clyde, Dan Harland and Brent Ashcroft all season long on Friday nights at 11:15.