Published Thu, Aug 18, 2011 10:06 pm Dateline
Coming off a 2-8 season, the Southern Tornadoes are looking to take another step forward in 2011. In head coach Kyle Wickline’s first season, the Tornadoes, managed 2 wins despite only having 18 players on the roster. Southeastern Ohio teams average about 46 players per team so Southern was heavily outnumbered in each game. They said it was their brotherly bond and their love for each other and the game that helped them fight through this adversity.
“All of us have very big hearts and we love to play football,” said defensive end Jesse Cope last season. But what separated the Tornadoes from the rest of their competition was their conditioning. To able to compete in the TVC-Hocking playing only 13 kids, coach Wickline knew his players had to be the best-conditioned team in the league.
“We feel have if we have to play 11, 12, 13 kids we have to be in better shape than the opponent. If we aren’t, it’s not gonna work,” said Wickline. It was this conditioning that kept the Tornadoes from being a push over in 2010. However, without an influx of players, it will be an uphill battle again this season. It will be interesting to see if the Tornadoes can take that next step under Wickline and become a contender in 2011. In order to take this step and compete every Friday night, they will need more manpower.