Look all you want, and you probably won’t find a more historic program than Commerce. That carries weight no matter the outlook for each season. Even still, the focus is always on the current season and not on the past. But with Michael Brown continuing to lead this Tigers team, and plenty of talent to go around, Commerce is always in the conversation for chasing a state championship.
1,600 rushing yards vanished with the departure of Caleb Mason, Dylan Deaton, and Dajuan Wood. That trio also accounted for a majority of the receiving yards. That group also combined with Levi Pate, Tucker Flint, and Tanner Lumpkin for over 300 tackles. That’s insane. It’s not all doom and gloom though. The Tigers always rely on the next man up, and Nate Ray is back under center as one of 25 seniors on the roster. Sam Roach will help him with the yardage. TJ Trudnak and Trahvon Wiggins will return to anchor the defense. It’s business as usual for Commerce. The question isn’t will they be good, but who will be the new names we are calling by the end of the season? This team went 10-3 with a region runner-up finish and a Quarterfinals run. Will it be even more in 2019?
7 Things To Know About the Tigers
1. Newcomers Set to Shine
Commerce has a lot to replace (see above), and some guys are set to return like Nate Ray and 24 other seniors. However, look for guys like Tyleon Brock (HB/DB) and Bo Childers (OL/DL) to shine as newcomers in 2019.
2. Strength is at QB/FB
The strength of this year’s Commerce team is in Ray at QB and Sam Roach at FB. They were the top two leading rushers in yardage last season with 750+ yards each.
3. Execution Needs Fine-Tuning
With so many moving parts, it’s usually a plug-and-play situation for the Tigers. Ray and Roach returning means the offense should be able to do just that. However, the focus this offseason has been in that group looking to execute a little better. Does that mean quicker, more efficiently, or in terms of mere points? Yes…
4. If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Ray (3-year starter at QB), Roach (FB), and TJ Trudnak (WR) are the go-to weapons in 2019. The triple option continues to run in Commerce. It’s been faithful to the Tigers for so long, so there’s no reason to think it won’t continue to be electric.
5. We’re Digging the Trenches
The O-Line returns just two of five starters, but also returns a TE who was a starter. Conner Kyle leads this group. On the D-Line, two of three come back, led by Trahvon Wiggins (All-Region). This bodes well for both the offense and defense with so much experience back in 2019.
6. 22 And Counting
It’s been 22 straight playoff appearances for the Tigers. This puts them in elite company. The streak should almost assuredly continue in 2019, but this program, even though it has more reason and right than most, doesn’t rest on its laurels. Instead, Michael Brown and the boys want more than a playoff trip. They’ll gladly take region championship number 19 and state title number three.
7. It’s a Journey
“We expect this group to work to get Commerce better daily… beyond that we hope for a great journey!,” states Brown.