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For the first time in recent memory, the Tri-Valley Scotties are starting a season without their two-headed monster of Nathan Strock at quarterback and Austin Jones at running back. Coach Justin Buttermore said that it’s weird not having them around anymore, but stays positive about the future without them.
“It’s high school football and reality is you lose a lot of good kids every year,” Buttermore said. “We have other kids that will become household names.”
Losing Jones and Strock is a hurdle for this team to overcome, just like their lack of experience, which Buttermore believed was improved with their scrimmages before the season.
“They haven’t played much in live action at full speed,” Buttermore said. “We just wanted them to get used to varsity action.”
Buttermore mentioned two players that could fit that role at some point given that they’re one of the few skill position players with game experience.
“Daniel Scott at running back played some for Jones when we wanted to give him a break,” Buttermore said. “We’re very comfortable with him, but he’s not a star yet. There’s also Hunter Moeller at wide receiver and defensive back.”
Buttermore will be relying on his linemen, as they have the most depth and experience for his team.
“Our linemen don’t get enough credit, and if we’re going to be good this year, it’s going to be because of them,” Buttermore said.
When asked about preparing for this Tri-Valley’s 2013 opener at home against Licking Valley, Buttermore said they won’t be doing anything out of the ordinary.
“We preach balance and we want to stop the run. It’s about planning our base stuff and not throwing too much at the kids right now,” Buttermore said. “We’re just preaching the fundamentals.”
Tri-Valley is coming off a season where it lead the MVL in both total offense and total defense, outscoring its opponent by nearly 50 points per game. While it appears that Buttermore may not be expecting that same output in 2013, the expectations have not changed for a team that holds the last two MVL titles. In his eyes, as well as many of the Scotty faithful, this is still a team that is expected to make noise in an MVL that could be wide open all season long.