WNY Athletics

Tigers looking to bring their “A” game

It’s a motto that has multiple levels but in the end only one real meaning:
Bring your best every day in everything you do.

As the Amherst Tigers varsity football team enters the 2018 head coach Jason Beckman and his boys will be going into battle with the mantra of Bring your “A” Game.

“It’s a little bit of a play on words,” Beckman said as he explained the origin of the motto.

“The idea is to bring your “A” game kind of represents being your best to everything you do. You’re representing your school. You’re representing yourself. Tying that in with what we all consider to be an “A” performance is doing everything you can do. Showing up to workouts in the offseason. Being a good teammate in the locker room. Giving everything you’ve got on the field between the whistles. The idea is if you kinda live your life that way and it carries over to the football field we can’t ask you to do any more than that.”

Last year was a challenging season for the Tigers as they went 2-7 (2-4 Class A South). But Beckman feels that they have a solid core of talent that can help the team turn the corner and string some wins together.

Leading the way will be a trio of seniors who are the embodiment of their team motto.

Especially lineman Matt Mohan who was an absolute beast in the weight room.

“He’s the first guy there. The last guy out. He’s really setting the tone,” Beckman said. “In fact, there are several times in the weight room we’ll be teaching an exercise and say hey Matt, show these guys how it’s done. Literally pointing to him as the example of this is the way we want to do things.”

Also back are QB/DB Ja’Kye Womack and RB/DB D’Shaun Barefield. Both in their third year of varsity, Womack and Barefield were the heart of the Tigers JV team as freshmen. A season that saw some coaching changes that resulted in Beckman also serving as the JV head coach.

“They’ve been kind of a consistent presence with us ever since they were freshmen,” Beckman said. “With the consistency of what we’ve been teaching and what we’ve been seeing from them we’re gonna rely on their experience level to help get us where we want to be.”

The Tigers will also be looking to a collection of second-year varsity players as key figures towards a winning season.

Joe Byrne and Sean Murphy will both be at wide receiver and defensive back, while Ryan Bitka returns at center and defensive line.

Varsity newcomer Rayshawn Allen, who is up from JV, will also bring speed and athleticism to the secondary and as a wideout.

The Tigers, who will compete in Section VI Class A-3, are slated to scrimmage at Williamsville North on Aug. 25 at 9 a.m.

Beckman said whether it’s running a play on the field or making sure your grades are in order, nothing less than your best should be everyone’s goal.

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