Southern Air Cenla Summer Camp: Tioga Indians
BALL, La. (KALB) - Tioga faced a lot of adversity throughout last season due to injuries, but get ready Indians fans, every player is healthy and taking reps. Head Football Coach Kevin Cook will take the field going into his 11th season with only eight seniors, which brings along lots of work to do.
“We realize that last year was not our typical season,” said Coach Cook. “It is not a reflection of the seniors. It is just a collision of things that happened there. At the end of the day, we pulled our bootstraps up, and we have taken it on the chin a little bit. We are ready to give it back.”
As the players have been conditioning and starting practice, there is only one thing on their minds, which is making sure last season never happens again as the Indians went just 3-8.
“It is not about what comes easy,” said Coach Cook. “It is what can I possibly do, and can I do more? This is what we are asking our kids to do this year. It is not about what you can do, it is about how much more you can do than what you think.”
There is one senior who is coming off of a broken wrist and is ready for the guys to look up to him.
“It is just different because you have everyone looking at you,” said Senior Quarterback Gabe Sellers. “Then, you play quarterback too. I mean you have to be the dude out there. Coach was telling me yesterday, it is easy to be a leader when everything is going well, but when things are going bad, you have to take responsibility, be a leader and get everybody going.”
There are also a few players that are expected to light up the field for the Indians this season.
“JaQuarius Billups is a kid who started for us last year at linebacker who was willing to make the transition at nose guard,” said Cook. “It was very selfless of him. This is what makes us better. He was willing to take a step down from there and put his hand in the ground.”
“We have a linebacker coming back who only got to play in three games last year in Tyler Boyd,” continued Cook. “He is very difficult to block. He is a Friday night difference maker.”
The Indians’ demeanor when they take the field will show every opponent that they have something to prove along with their goals, being undefeated and winning the district championship.
There are a few guys who are stepping on the field for the first time as juniors who need a leader to show them the way.
“On the line, it is like I have a lot of new guys, especially the left guard,” said Senior Offensive Lineman Hayden Christman. “It is his first time playing football, and he is going to be a junior. I have to help him with plays and know what to do. I have to be vocal.”
As moving to District 2 will be challenging for the Indians, the matchup they are looking forward to the most is against the Neville High School Tigers and proving that they are going to be one of the best football teams in Central Louisiana.
To see who the Indians will play this season, click here.
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