Danny Palmer is ready.
Palmer, Tyler Junior College’s head football coach, had his sunshades on, the sunscreen ready and a black & gold Apache cap atop his head walking around campus on Wednesday.
His Apaches report for duty on Saturday and begin two-a-days on Sunday at Pat Hartley Field.
“We are scheduled to have 95 players report,” Palmer said. “We are ready to go.”
Workouts are scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a 7 to 9:30 p.m. session on Sunday.
Palmer, who is entering his seventh season as TJC head coach, and his staff are preparing his team for a run at the Southwest Junior College Football Conference championship.
The Apaches did lose some valuable players from the 2012 team, such as quarterback Tyrik Rollison (Texas A&M-Commerce), the Offensive Most Valuable Player of the league; as well as running back Ryan Young (Louisiana Tech), JaVante Mack (Sam Houston State), Jeremey Chappelle (Mississippi State) and Tracy Smith, the top three receivers in the conference.
However, there are plenty of standouts returning.
The Apaches have Randy Price returning at QB, after missing a year due to an injury, and Lamar Carraway. Price led the Apaches to the SWJCFC championship game in 2011, while Carraway, after Rollison was hurt, almost rallied TJC from a 34-7 deficit against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in the conference semifinals last year only to fall 37-35 when a late two-point conversion failed.
Palmer also noted that 77 of his players were in academic Summer Session II. So they were on campus and were going through weight training and conditioning on their own.
The Apaches scrimmage Louisiana College on Aug. 24 in Shreveport, La. They open the regular season with the Texas vs. Kansas Series on Aug. 31 on Earl Campbell Field at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Kickoff against Fort Scott (Kan.) is 7 p.m.
After finishing fifth in the nation, the Apache Ladies volleyball team is shooting for another national tournament appearance.
Coach Ronda Shirley has the squad on campus.
They will have their Alumni Game at 1 p.m. Sunday at Wagstaff Gymnasium. The Apache Ladies, who were 32-6 last season, will scrimmage Aug. 17 against Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth.
TJC opens its season Aug. 23-24 as the Apache Ladies host the Dana Hatch Classic.
The highly successful TJC soccer squads will try once again to reach the national championship tournaments.
The Apaches, 20-3-1 last season, won the NJCAA National Championship, their third national title in four years. TJC defeated Louisburg (N.C.), 1-0 in overtime, in the title match in Darton, Ga.
Coach Steve Clements has led the Apaches to all three titles.
TJC opens its season Aug. 31 in Dallas against Johnson County (Kan.) Community College.
The men’s national tournament is scheduled for Nov. 18-23 in Tyler.
The Apache Ladies, who were 19-3-2 last season, earned a semifinals berth before falling in the national tournament in Melbourne, Fla.
The TJC women open their season Aug. 31 against Laramie County (Wyo.) Community College at Pat Hartley Field. The contest has a 6 p.m. start.
Apache Ladies coach Corey Rose has led TJC to two national championships in five years of the program.
The women’s national tournament is scheduled for Nov. 18-23 in Melbourne.