Elysian Fields athletic director and head football coach Scott Ford hasn’t gotten his hands on a copy of the 2020 Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine yet, but he says people have sent him clips from it.
“I’ve seen enough to know where we’re picked and the balance of the districts and those things,” Ford said.
His Yellow Jackets are picked to finish third in District 11-3A Division II behind Hughes Springs and Waskom.
“I like it because I think we’re undervalued,” Ford offered. “We’ve got 17 starters back and our kids take a lot of pride in what they do. They’ve put in a lot of hard work the last few years to get to this point and you’ve really got to be leery of a hungry veteran football team that feels underappreciated. I enjoy the magazine. I think it’s great for Texas High School football but at the end of the day, hopefully, it will be settled on the field.”
Although he’s confident in his team, Ford Knows coming out on top won’t be easy. Prior to district play, his Yellow Jackets will take on teams such as Harmony, Joaquin and Daingerfield. He says he likes his team’s depth going into the season.
“Our eighth grade teams have not lost a football game, so we’ve got a lot of talented freshmen and sophomores that are going to contribute,” he continued. “We’ve got great senior leadership. We’ve got two linebackers back with 300 tackles. We’ve got four offensive linemen back. We’ve got a quarterback who was not picked to be the offensive player of the year in the district, which I think is a crime. He accounted for almost 4,000 yards last year. He’s a dual threat. He’s as cool as the other side of the pillow. He’s not going to get rattled and I think he’s one of the best players in East Texas. We’ve got a great coaching staff and I do believe this will be the best coaching staff we’ve had. We’ve actually got a kicker back for the first the first time in a long time. We don’t have any excuses but like anybody else, we just want the opportunity to go out there and achieve our goals.”
Ford added he can use predictions such as the magazine and others to help motivate his team.
“The reason I feel that way is I know my personality,” he said. “I never aspire to be third. You’ve got to set goals to get the finer things in life and that’s being at the top. I know our kids expect to go out there and win it. It’s not going to be easy but nothing worth having in life is. I don’t think I’m going to have to talk a lot about it once we get going. I think it will be up in the fieldhouse as a constant reminder, ‘OK boys, these are the people we’re not supposed to beat.’ That’s the way we’re going to approach that and hopefully get ready for that red Russian army Harmony that first week.”