The Tioga Indians opened up practice this week after a start delay behind other schools. However, this isn’t seen as a push back for them.
With the possible season start on October 8th, head coach, Kevin Cook, says he’s all for it. He mentions that he actually prefers a delayed season allowing student athletes the chance to get acclimated to the school year, it’s safer to start during the cooler months, and it also helps the coaches with late recruitment opportunities.
“I never believed that football should start before Labor Day. I think it’s in the kids’ best interest from a safety stand-point to have more cooler months of football than warmer months. I always felt like it was important to have a couple weeks of school. Get the ball rolling for school because that’s why we’re here.”
Of course a delayed season was a blow to the players, but they plan to take this extra time and run with it.
“Whatever has to be done, of course I’m going to be a little upset about it because we’re not going to start on time but safety is always first so just whatever has to be done.”
“I’m not really worried about it. I gives us more time to physically peak and go over all of our plays. So, its alright with me.”
Star quarterback and Ole Miss commit, Blake McGehee, says no matter the start date, this season is all about business.
“It’s not really fun and games anymore, its more business. Coming out, we got a plan and get ready for the year as quick as we can.”
Returning linebacker, Jakobe Brock echoes the leadership mentality.
“Throughout the four years that I’ve been here, we’ve had a lot of talent come through but we’ve not all not been very disciplined or big. This year, we’re the most disciplined team. Everybody plays for each other, we’re not selfish. We just get on the field and play for each other.”
The Indians fell in the second round of the playoffs last season but Cook says that the team was pleased with how their season ended. Ultimately, they were a few injuries shy of pushing to the quarterfinals.
“We felt really great about how the (last) season ended. We got into the redzone eight times and we were really just a few injuries away from going to the quarterfinals and we were coming out here today feeling like we picked up where we left off. That’s what we’re praying for.”
And the mindset of the team…
“The thought process is… when we get on that field, we’re going to show them what we been doing. Pretty much. We’re all in the weightroom and we’re all putting in the time on the field. So, if we get the opportunity or when we get the opportunity, we wont waste it.”