Coach Tim McCarty was just about to recover from his mid-week panic Thursday morning in his office at East Central.
His two-deep chart had been established. The players seem to know what they are to do when the Tigers open the season against Arkansas-Monticello at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Football is fun again, at least until panic time sits in again next week. It doesn't help that every game this season will be a conference game.
Monticello has lost three in a-row to the Tigers, but that comforts McCarty little.
The Boll Weevils, the most hated insect known to former cotton farmers — but the mascot of Monticello just the same — have upgraded. No question about it, McCarty says.
"They're a pretty good football team," he adds.
Maybe so, but there's some evidence that says the Boll Weevils will be facing one of the most overall talented Tiger teams in recent years. They'll be playing on their new, spruced up, green FieldTurf with the bright orange end zones and the hostile looking orange Tiger frozen like a proud predator in the middle of the field.
But coaches worry — as well they should. Coach Hud Jackson at Monticello, is in his third-year of a major rebuilding job at the Arkansas school.
He's trying to create a team that thrives on speed and spreads opponents' defenses from sideline to sideline.
True, the team won just one of 10 last year and didn't get a GAC (Great American Conference) victory.
But McCarty must fret. First of all, Jackson went out and recruited a pack of junior college players with unknown skills. That can sometimes turn a team around dramatically.
Jackson has 38 of those one-win players returning from a year ago, and they're not teething anymore, either.