Updated Thu, Aug 15, 2013 10:29 pm
Editor’s Note: Three-Point Stance is Gridiron Glory’s written preview series leading up to its 15th season on WOUB. Gridiron is visiting training camps for all 32 teams in the coverage area as they prepare for the 2013 football season. The series continues in the TVC-Hocking, where eight teams look to dethrone a defending state champ.
After a changeup in coaches last year, the Waterford Wildcats were not as successful in conference play as they had been in previous seasons. After winning their opener against Miller, the ‘Cats lost a tough road game to Federal Hocking by two points in Week 2 and failed to win another TVC-Hocking game, falling to 2-8 on the season.
The Wildcats are looking to regain their strength this season and prove that they can be competitive in the TVC Hocking.
Here are three things to know about the 2013 Waterford Wildcats:
1. Strengthening the Line
Coach Tucker has his team focusing on doing the simple things and doing them right. “We have to block and tackle, and then it’s really simple,” he said. “If you block and tackle you win a lot of games.”
Senior offensive and defensive lineman Nick Gardner aims to help his team do just that by bringing enthusiasm, a will to be there and a strong determination to win. During the offseason he has worked on his footwork, speed and agility by lifting and getting in better shape.
“I’m going to do my job as well as I can and hit hard,” Gardner said.
2. Determined Defense
On defense, the Wildcats aim to change the momentum back into their favor when their offense isn’t enough by turning missed opportunities into hard earned success and points on the scoreboard. The Wildcats will rely heavily on senior Austin Lang who will play middle linebacker on defense as well as running back and fullback on offense.
Coach Tucker had nothing but good things to say about Lang.
“He is a real hard hitter, go-getter and a tough player for 140 pounds,” Tucker said. “He went to state in wrestling last year so we are expecting a lot of big things out of him. We have some good players but Austin is our main hog and he’ll be our leader.”
Being an important player on offense has given Lang motivation on defense. He said when the offense turns the ball over, the defense should be motivated to go out and get the ball back again.
“(I have to) keep everybody up, and make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do,” Lang said about his leadership duties.
3. One Game at a Time
Waterford lost 10 seniors to graduation last year and is working hard to fill spots. Coach Tucker, however, believes his practices are more about quality than quantity.
“We still think if you come out and work hard for three hours you accomplish more than working for four or five,” he said. “We are happy with the attitude of the kids and they have all worked really hard for us so we can’t ask for anything more than what they have done.”
The Wildcats plan to take it one game at a time and believe that the most important game is their home opener against Miller, because it marks the first game this year.
“We don’t have a lot of goals, this year,” Tucker explained. "We want to go out and win as many games as we can and let the chips fall where they fall.”
Waterford takes on Miller to begin the season Friday, Aug. 30.
Follow @gridironglory on Twitter and Instagram and Like the Gridiron Glory Facebook page for continued coverage throughout the preseason. Gridiron Glory returns Friday, Aug. 23 at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB.