By Nathan Jones
What do people think when they hear the words "You have to rise to the occasion?" It means stepping up into a very large role that some people thought or believed that someone couldn't do, but doing it anyway. To rise to the occasion means to not back down or fold under pressure, but to adapt and succeed against the odds. North Tama Football has done just that.
On a defensive unit that was #1 in the state last year in class A, they have replaced 8 starters on defense. On a very balanced offense only 4 of the 11 starters remain. This means that out of the 22 key positions, only 7 of those positions are filled with people who have varsity experience at those positions. The special teams have also had an impact because both the kicker and punter graduated from last year's class.
When Brent Thoren was asked how the foundation of the Redhawks team is laid out, he stated: "The Foundation of our program is based on player development. We count on kids to grow up in the program and when they are juniors and seniors they are ready to play at the varsity level, even though all they have played is JV. We always have seniors that have little varsity experience at the start of the year, but have prepared the past three years for their time to play." So far the Redhawks are 9-0 coming into the playoff season. Most seniors from last year's team said and commented that this year's team would only go 4-5 this season and would probably not make the playoffs. Having defeated North Butler in the first playoff game the team meets Central Elkader in the second round. This year's players were tenacious and believed they could still succeed, and so far they have done just that, this year's players have risen to the occasion.