By Cassie Peterson
The Redhawks are back with a new head coach, entering the season rated No. 13 for Class A football. They had been working hard to get their fill of practices before they took on season-opener of the last three years, Midland of Wyoming.
Senior Dylan Youel said those first few weeks of practice had been long, like they are every year, but they are worth it when week one rolled in.
Last year North Tama started the season with a shutout victory against Midland with a score of 50-0. This year they started the season with a 56-0 victory over Midland. Forty-two of those points had been scored in the first quarter.
Junior Lucas Hefty says, "[It was] a good game and it always shows where we are physically and mentally."
However, since the season didn't end on the high note that they were looking for last year the guys are just waiting for the opportunity to do it all over again. Last year's trip to the finals was just the start. This year the Redhawks plan to actually take over as State Champions of Class A football.
"Last year's end was the worst feeling in the world," comments senior Caleb Edwards. "This season all of us seniors are just biting at the bits wanting to get back to the [championship]."
Edwards is looking for a different outcome, and that would be with the "State Champion" title under their belts.
Mr. Josh Youel, an Industrial Tech teacher at North Tama, believes that no one can stop these guys from making it to the semi-finals again this year. Others agree but then there are also those who are more cautiously optimistic.
Junior Brendon Boerm says, "The season will be successful if we stay injury free and strive to reach our goals." Being injury free does contribute to a successful season as does experience. Senior, Jeremy Wrage, "This is a rebuilding year and we are trying very hard to get as far as we can get."
This season does bring new things for the team to build on. Not only is there a whole new line of freshman battling for a starting position but there was a change in coaching staff. Mr. Thoren, who coached junior high football at North Tama for five years, has taken over as head coach of the high school team. Many are looking forward to what he will do with the team this year, and there is a big difference between junior high and high school coaching.
"X's and O's are the same, maybe a little more diversified, but you still have to block, run, and tackle just like any level," says Coach Thoren. "I think knowing all of the kids and not having to establish myself made the transition easier. It's the other "stuff" other than coaching that wears on some people."
The players agree. "The new head coach knows what the team is capable of and will settle for nothing less," says Wrage.
Needless to say, this season will be both exciting and different.