DAINGERFIELD, Tx (KMSS/KTAL) – Two out of the last three seasons, the Daingerfield Tigers advanced to the quarterfinals. That’s also where their season ended both years.

“What if we had our starting quarterback for our game against Waskom? Whether that game had gone different, if we had been able to do this or that, that unknown has really been driving us,” said Tigers’ Head Coach Davin Nelson.

That unknown, what might have been if the Tigers were fully healthy entering their quarterfinal game, is fueling everything the team does this fall.

“We working hard, two a days, putting in that work, and I feel like it’s gonna pay off,” said senior defensive back/wide-receiver Aeryn Hampton. Hampton is committed to the University of Texas and is one of three receiver/defensive backs holding D-I offers. “Double D” Rodgers and CJ Gilbert round out the dynamic trio. If they aren’t burning past defenders, they’re locking down the offense. And if you aren’t intimidated? Well, maybe you should be.

“A lot of people say we’re cocky, but we’re just confident,” said Hampton. “We just feel like we’re the best players every time we step on the field.” According to Coach Nelson, having three Division I athletes on the back-end of your defense changes the way the Tigers operate.

“There’s this part where it’s like, I hope you test them, so that we can get the ball back and get a score on defense,” said Nelson. The Tigers scored on defense 11 times last fall, and believe they’ll do even more this season.

On the offensive side, quarterback Dee Lewis is gone, but with a trio of wide-outs with over 40 FBS offers between them, sophomore Chase Johnson likes his odds of filling Lewis’ shoes.

“I’ve got a lot of talent. We’re gonna be great,” said Johnson. “I’ve got all the receivers I need, linemen, running backs, tight ends. We’re gonna be good.” Even though Johnson is only a sophomore, his size (6’2, 205) and athleticism should make for a smooth transition.

“The (wide-receivers) experience combined with what (Chase) is doing right now with our offensive staff, I think that’s what’s allowed him to blossom and bloom and be that guy that can take the helm for us,” said Nelson.

The Tigers return experience. They return talent. And they’re ready to return to AT&T Stadium this December.

“We wanna look up and it’s Christmas morning and we’ve got a ring on our finger,” said Nelson.

“State championship. I promise ya’ll that, we’re gonna get a state championship,” said Hampton.

The Daingerfield Tigers begin the season on August 26 at Gladewater.